Our mid-week family nights began again this past Wednesday. Our adult study is concentrated on the discipline of prayer. Just to give a snapshot of what we talked about this past week, we looked at the legacy of prayer. Examples of Abraham, Hannah, Jeremiah and David in the Psalms. Real feelings, real emotions real words. Some of the prayers these real people in scripture prayed were as simple as HELP! Nothing theologically mind blowing… just an honest cry to our Heavenly Father to intervene. Now here’s the question; do you believe God hears you when you pray? Have you ever talked with someone and you really KNEW they were not listening? I tell you, the God of the universe, the one who created you in your mother’s womb takes great delight in listening to you. Psalm 116:1-2 says “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.” That’s leaving a legacy… as long as I live I will call on Him. Do you let your children hear you pray? It is a great way to teach them and model for them the importance of this discipline. We need to allow our children to see us wrestle with God, plead with Him about the things that grip us and cause us to worry. We need to journal our requests and record answers to show them that God answers. It teaches them patience as we are in God’s waiting room, waiting for the answer. It teaches them that we aren’t equipped to carry our burdens alone.
A hymn we all sing from time to time says, “Oh what PEACE we often forfeit, Oh, what needless PAIN we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” He is our Father,
He loves us. May we be like Moses, in Exodus 33:11, “11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” I pray for that type of intimacy with my Heavenly Father.
Church Family, I’m praying that we all grow deeply, practicing the presence of God through this awesome gift of Prayer.
Come join us on Wednesday!
Mission and Values
JANUARY 9, 2018
That’s our identity. This is who we say we are, what we do! As you know we started our Identity series this past Sunday with “We exist to Glorify God.”
That’s our bulls-eye. If we miss that, we miss everything! Remember 1 Corinthians 10:31? “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” There are no mundane things. All of your life can be used for Gods glory. Everything matters! Live in that lane for a week and see what happens. Psalm 16:8 says, "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” That’s the key to living for Gods glory. The Lord is always the filter of all I do… will it, can it bring Glory to his name? May we learn to live that way, think that way? This week we will look at the second part of our Mandate… How do we glorify God? By Making Disciples. Can’t wait to see you Sunday!
January 2, 2018
Hey faith family! It's time to get back into the regular routine. The tree is down and left overs are gone.. I am so ham and turkey weary! It’s time to reboot and move forward into 2018. Let's start out the new year committed to our Sunday Worship gathering and Wednesday nights where there is something for everyone. We have a great meal so that you do not have to cook, the children and students have ministry meetings and adults will have a study to attend.
This Sunday we will begin a series on our Missional Mandate “Identity”. I will simply take our Mandate and Values and biblically walk through them over the coming weeks. The Mandate and Values were formed out of the Study conducted by a special church needs task force made up from members of our church and the staff. Auxano, a team from Lifeway, led the church through the process.
What is our Missional Mandate?
Our Missional Mandate is to glorify God and make disciples by inviting our
community to enjoy fulfilling lives in Christ.
What are our Values?
Speaking His Truth - teaching biblical truth, equipping for life
Sharing Our Hope - telling our stories, winning our world
Showing the Way - leading the next generation, following God's path together
Soothing Their Hurt - loving people, caring for their needs
I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we start the new year faithful together in Worship, Serving and Growing.
I love you church!
December 27, 2017
That is what we find ourselves doing in the last week of the year. The tree is coming down, presents being returned for a bigger size… okay, that’s just for me. But, if you are like me, I am reflecting.
I have been your pastor for a month now and I find myself looking back at the parties, dinners, trying to get names right. But I only look back as a means to go forward. That is what a new year brings.. new starts, new opportunities….fresh goals! Anyone need a fresh start?
You see sometimes we reflect on the wrong things. Things we can no longer control.
The former things. I love Isaiah 43:18-19:
“remember not the former things, nor consider the days of old.
Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
See the command?.. don’t look back!! Look forward! If you keep looking back you are going to miss what I want to do! What I WILL do! Let us live with that type of anticipation!
O God do a new thing in my life! Do a new thing at Liberty Park! Do you sense that, church? New things in your life and the life of God’s church? Read the last line of the verse again. It can be read two ways. First, nothing is going to get in the way of what God is going to do.. NOTHING. His will cannot be thwarted. Secondly, it says that tough times could be ahead but His promise is to provide a way through the dry desert times. Which is true? Both are true. Because that is how life flows. And, in the Desert is where God does his new things to teach us and mold us to be like Jesus. Embrace that… I hope to see you on Sunday the 31st as we consider the new year before us. Sandra and I look forward to growing relationships deeply in 2018.
A Baby is Born
December 18, 2017
I remember in February of 1992 when Sandra told me the news that we were going to have a baby. Just the anticipation of this child (Maggie) shifted our conversations, our schedules, and our priorities. Then the day came when she would be delivered. It was not the smoothest of deliveries. Almost 20 hours from the time we arrived at the hospital, doctors who never disagreed were disagreeing on whether to take Sandra to surgery. We had complete confidence in our doctor who was a Believer and stayed the whole 20 hours at the hospital with us watching 15 episodes of Bonanza as we waited on sweet Maggie to be born. Twenty-five years later, I look at Maggie and still experience the joy of the moment I first held her. She did change our lives. She did change our priorities. She did change our conversation.
A Savior is Born
Could you imagine that night? A stable, animals around, the stench in the air? I don’t think this is how Mary envisioned the birth of her child, but this is exactly how God envisioned it. A humble birth, announced to shepherds first, and not to the palace that was just a few miles away. Luke 2 says that once the shepherds told Mary the news concerning the angels' proclamation, she kept it and pondered it in her heart. The child she was holding was God with a heartbeat and kidneys! Immanuel, God with us. A child that would not only change Mary and Joseph’s priorities, schedules and conversation but those of the entire world! This child was simply born to die. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) He experienced the wages of sin… DEATH. The payment, the debt…. Personalize it…MY debt. YOUR debt. He became MY sin on the cross! As we prepare to come to God’s table this Sunday, reflect this week on this indescribable gift to you! Celebrate the gift of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE this child, this SAVIOR, THIS KING brings and offers to a broken world needing not some good advice, not three ways to have a happy day, but a SAVIOR. “And you shall call His name Jesus, For He will save His people from their sins.”
Has He changed your life? Your priorities? Your conversations?
Merry Christmas, Church Family! I love you!
December 11, 2017
It's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas…everywhere I go! Stores are saturating us with the news of BIG SALES. Some stores have dancing guys, twirling signs, wearing costumes that look like Santa and there was a dancing gorilla on 280 pointing the way to the store that hired him. They constantly are competing for our attention. The signs said “50% off til Christmas.” Some stores were touting the “cheapest gifts” in town! Hey guys buy your wife a gift and tell her…. “Yeah it was cheap, that’s why I bought this for you!” Enjoy the couch! We can’t get by with…. “Well it was the thought that counts right?”
Take some time this week and reflect on God’s gift to us. The difference in experiencing great joy this Christmas is seeing the difference between what we want and what we truly need. Our Heavenly Father did not offer us a cheap gift. He did not put a monetary value on His gift to us. He offered himself. He offered himself on a cross. His gift was not cheap but free… lasting for eternity. Why do we invest in temporal things? Why do we give things that after the new year lose their impact? My hope is that we would be most generous to God’s Kingdom this Christmas.
As I have begun my ministry here at LPBC, I see we are behind in our budget and missions offering . I have always led churches that have exceeded budgets and missions goals. I want to encourage you that as we approach the end of the year to be generous to your church and our missions offering. We are halfway to our goal of $25,000. We should knock that out of the park! Let's show our children, and others what we truly value - God and his Kingdom!
My prayer is that we finish the year strong as a testimony to our Savior of what really matters in our lives. Can't wait to see you this Sunday!
December 4, 2017
This past week, my sweet wife Sandra and I were sitting down and filling our calendars for Christmas. Family dinners, Sunday School parties, staff get togethers, friends and not to mention all the gifts to be purchased…..seems like there is not enough room for all of the joyful festivities, but we figured it all out. Isn’t that true for all of life?
It is not just Christmas that is busy, but everyday seems to be filled with rushing to make a meeting, beating a deadline, getting the house cleaned, recitals, homework ... there seems to be very little room for error as it would throw the whole day out of whack. Do you know that what is true with making room for our calendar is true for our heart? Spiritually making room. Unfortunately, like our day, we struggle to find time to pause for what is most important - meeting with our Savior. Finding room for HIM. I am reminded of these words:
“JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME
LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING
LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM
AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING!”
This carol reminds us that room must be prepared. Consider your life today. Isn’t it true that Jesus sometimes exists in the margins? That he is peripheral rather than central? Can we confess to each other that our hearts are full.. full of the wrong things? May we begin now to prepare Him room by crowning Him as Lord and King of our lives. He will suffer no rivals, He will entertain no competitors. In preparing him room, we are at the same time being prepared for true, even “Great Joy.”
May this week bring you great joy as you personally worship and be reminded that God Himself, put on our flesh to be our substitute and pay the price for the gift we could never purchase… SALVATION. That’s why Heaven and Nature Sings!!
The Light That Leads Us Home
November 28, 2017
Faith Family, what a great start to our celebration of Advent this past Sunday! As we celebrated the Hope of Christmas, we look forward to this Sunday as we talk about Christmas Peace. What a timely subject in a world full of chaos.
I also want to remind you that these are great opportunities to invite those you know who are looking for or needing a church home. "Christmas in the Park" on December 10th is also another touch we can have in the community. Please take an invite card Sunday and personally invite someone to this special musical celebration of "The Light That Leads Us Home."
Our Christmas Missions offering goal is $25,000 this year. 100% of this offering goes for the support of our missionaries around the world... no administration cost is taken from your gift.
May we be found faithful as we finish the year strong! I love you church family!