Wednesday, June 27, 2007

That's One Big Rock!

No, I'm not talking about the ring on my wife's hand. Monday we loaded up and headed over to Stone Mountain Park outside of Atlanta. I had never been there but always seen it on I-85 so thought we'd try something out for the first time. We stayed for the laser light show and fireworks that night, at least most of it. Coming home on some exit in Georgia I had to stop for coffee at a Pilot gas station. Getting out of the car at the same gas station at 11:30 at night was a family in my church. Imagine the surprise!

Tuesday afternoon I had the honor of interviewing Pastor Randy Harling. Randy is the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Simpsonville. I have made a commitment of seeking to learn from pastors like him and interviewing them each month. Randy was gracious in meeting with me for 45 minutes. I asked him several questions on his schedule, staff meetings, evangelism (they are baptizing many), staff structure, etc. One thing that really stuck out to me was the personal touches he makes in his church. People are longing for that. I was reminded that no matter how large a church gets, pastors always need to be making personal touches with their people. That was a great reminder for me. I also noticed his humble spirit. There are some great pastors out there seeking to honor God and lead His church. Thanks Pastor Harling for making time for a young pastor like me seeking to learn and grow each day to be the best Pastor I can be for the Master.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thank You Dr. Frank Page!

Vacation Bible School went great tonight. We had 63 kids! Probably 1/3 of them were unchurched. Why am I thanking Dr. Frank Page? Who is he anyway? Well, if you don't run in Southern Baptist circles, he was just elected the SBC president for a second term. He has done a remarkable job this past year and will continue that into his second and last term. Once again, why am I thanking Dr. Page? Well, 5 years ago I stepped into his office at Taylors First Baptist and asked him would he be willing to sponsor a new church backed by Taylors. He said yes and sent people and financial backing my way to start Ridgeview Church. Many lives have been touched by the love of Christ expressed through His body at Ridgeview. Thank you Dr. Page for taking a chance on me to Pastor this wonderful body of Christ!

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Vacation Bible School Time Again!

Tonight we kicked off Vacation Bible School with this year's theme called "Avalanche Ranch." It's a country theme. Not hard for us to get into up here in the hills of Blue Ridge. We got off to a great start: 47 kids! There are lots of churches who do Vacation Bible School around here. It's great that they do. I read somewhere that 80% of people become Christians before they are 12 years of age. It is such a pivotal time in a person's life. I am also grateful God allows me to serve Him at Ridgeview church. It never gets dull! As we sang tonight, it is a "Great Adventure!"

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hot Summer, Hot Topic
Message Series on Sexual Purity for June
Sunday I started a four week series on sexual purity at Ridgeview. I am alarmed at the rampant impurity running wild in our culture today, and not only our culture but our churches. I read that studies show the morality of Christians pertaining to sexual purity isn't a whole lot different than those who do not claim to follow Jesus. In fact, I can name five very prominent ministers who have fallen prey to sexual immorality within the last year. Also, the internet has been a wonderful tool, especially to me in ministry, but it has been a horrible tool Satan has used to bring men down through addiction to pornographic websites. Genesis 1:31 says that everything God created was very good. That includes sex. But, mess with it outside of God's guardrails and you will crash and burn. My prayer almost everyday is that God would not even allow me to get into the ring of sexual temptation. Sometimes if we find ourselves already in the ring of tempation it may be too late. If I'm not in the ring, I don't have to worry about it. I've also found God's way is much better, more satisfying, and brings so much more joy. Don't settle for anything less whether single or married!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Great Weekend!
This weekend was one of those weekends I would like to have more of. Several weeks ago a long time friend, Chris Hall, called me to play golf. I couldn't do it then, but we looked at playing golf this past Friday at a course up the road from my home. I also invited him and his family over to grill burgers that evening. Pictured above is Chris, Kim, Luke, and Eli. Kim is a nurse and just made a huge career move to become the school nurse at Mountain View Elementary School. We had a great evening grilling burgers, catching up, and hanging out and playing in the backyard with the boys. When I say Chris is a long time friend, I mean it. I am 36 years old and I've known Chris since I was 4 or 5.
Then, Saturday morning rolled around and our church had our third "Single Mom's Oil Change" at Mountain View Elementary. I have to admit the first 30 minutes that we officially started I was beginning to think no one would show. But, slowly and steadily for the next 2 1/2 hours we had 16 single moms show up and we changed their oil. There was one lady whose car was 10,000 over the next scheduled oil change but hadn't been able to afford it. What an opportunity to show the love of Christ to these precious ladies!
Finally, Sunday morning rolled around. It's the big day, the time where our church all comes together for corporate worship. Our worship leader was out because his wife had a baby last Tuesday. I'm always nervous when one of our veterans are out, but Milo's replacement, Elizabeth Buck, did a wonderful job and our worship team was sharp! Thanks guys! We had a great turnout this morning and was encouraging to me because last Sunday it seemed 95% of our church was gone to the beach, lake, or Nascar race for Memorial day weekend. The icing on the cake was to see 2 of the ladies whose cars we serviced on Saturday in our worship service. One of those ladies wants more information on how to become a Christian and also one of our long time members brought their 5 year old to me and she also shared she became a Christian and wants to be baptized. I'll take these kind of weekends every time I can get them!