Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category
Sports Camp is one of my favorite weeks of the year, because it is a beautiful picture of the body of Christ working together to serve God and build His kingdom. I love seeing EVERYONE in our Graystone Church family use their gifts and abilities to minister to HUNDREDS of kids in our church and from the community. If you have not volunteered to serve at Sports Camp and would like to, please contact Katie Landress, our Children’s Pastor (firstname.lastname@example.org). A side benefit of serving at Sports Camp is getting to fellowship with all of the staff and volunteers. If you are looking to get connected at Graystone, serving at Sports Camp is a great way to do it.
If your kids are not signed up for Sports Camp, sign them up. It is FREE and you can register them here. I promise you that they will have a blast and grow spiritually. If you are unfamiliar with Sports Camp, below is last year’s highlight video. It will give you an idea of the high energy and fun of Sports Camp.
I absolutely loved our Good Friday Prayer Service. I am praying about starting a regular Prayer Service for our church family simple to come together and pray. I attribute much of God’s spirit moving Easter Sunday to our covering the building in prayer and depending heavily on God and expecting Him to do great things by stepping out in FAITH (sorry for the run-on sentence but it is Friday).
Why can’t every Friday be a good Friday to remember all that God has done for us? And BTW, Sunday’s Comin’ AGAIN!
In Texas, the kids did not get out of school for Good Friday but for Earth Day. I think I just tasted a little throw up in my mouth. The secular agenda being pushed in some of our public schools is a little more than frustrating. It is offensive.
Yesterday was a glorious day. I hung out with my good friend Ashley Hodge. Billy Brice (see pic below…you cannot hang…believe me) and I ate a cow at Fogo De Chao. The Hawks and Mavs both won their first round playoff series. Julio Jones went to the Falcons and Mark Ingram to the Saints. Who dat?
And I have a new episode of Swamp People on my DVR. More on Swamp People during a later post but this is hands down the best show on TV. It doesn’t get any better than Cajuns hunting gators in the LA swamp and capturing it all on “reality TV”.
There is a major buzz at the church this week in anticipation of the Echoing Angels concert. I cannot wait to hear their new album. They begin setting up at 10AM and it sounds like (no pun intended) they are bringing in a lot more ampage. You do not want to miss this and it appears the neighbors will not. All the cool people and Heath will be there. I might even wear a pair of skinny jeans and sport a faux hawk.
See you Saturday at 7ish!
Easter Sunday (April 24) is going to be POWERFUL! I cannot wait to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here are 5 ways to maximize the Easter season at Graystone Church:
1. Join us Palm Sunday (April 17) as we kick off Passion Week and begin preparing our hearts and minds for Easter. Our new service times begin this Sunday at 9:30 and 11:00AM. If you can come to the 9:30 service to create more space in the 11:00 service, we would really appreciate it.
2. Come enjoy some great food, fun and fellowship at the Easter Egg-stravaganza, Sunday, April 17 at 4:00PM. The Varsity will be on site with naked dogs, frosted oranges and the like. There will be games, bunnies, and thousands of eggs. This a a great event to invite your friends and family.
3. Follow the daily quiet time sheet during Passion Week as “we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ” and the events of the last week of His life. This is an opportunity to grow spiritually and get our focus where it needs to be leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. We will give out the study guides on Sunday morning (April 17), and I will post it on my blog next week.
4. Participate in the Good Friday Prayer Service on April 22 at 7:00 at Graystone Church. This will be a very stripped down simple service with a short time of teaching, worship and prayer. The 2 purposes of the service are:
- Thank Jesus for His death on the cross for our sins.
- Pray for Easter Sunday and for God to bring hundreds of people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
5. Invite your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and teammates to Easter Sunday at Graystone Church. In addition to celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will be kicking off a new message series, Modern Family. I will touch on the felt need of “Modern families and the trials we face” but the message will be very gospel-oriented. This will be a great Sunday for believers and seekers.
This goes without saying, but “Kyle and the Band” and the creative team are going ALL OUT for Easter Sunday. You do not want to miss it. And you want to bring someone with you. It will be life-changing! Easter Sunday is the best Sunday of the year to invite someone to church.
Let’s make the most of Passion Week and trust God to do “immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine”!
Your Pastor and Friend,
Read Poke the Box last week. Got me praying and thinking about ‘starting something’
My favorite song at Hillsong United Concert: Yours Forever
Trey McKnight is joining KATB this Sunday to lead worship. Gonna be special.
Join the Graystone March Madness Bracket Challenge here. Password: Graystone
Please pray for the Graystone High School kids who are participating in Cweekend (I.e. Disciple Now)
The below picture represents the most valuable 2 hours of Joelan’s week!
This weekend, Graystone is rolling out the red carpet for a very special guest (in addition to Trey McKnight). If at all possible, please be here Sunday and bring someone with you. I have asked the staff to be on their best behavior. If you have seen the movie, Funny Farm, you will know what I mean when I say that we are “Releasing the Deer”.
Here’s a really funny video. Enjoy.
Here’s a summary of my message from Vision Night:
Hebrews 12:29 says that God is a consuming fire. In the Old Testament, God appeared to His people in the form of fire (I.e. burning bush, pillar of fire, consuming fire on top of Mt Sinai). In the OT, fire was a physical representation of God’s glory and presence. After God met with Moses on top of Mt Sinai, Moses’ face glowed as he reflected the glory of God.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist teaches that Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. When someone is born again, the Spirit of God (fire) enters the life of the believer and lives in us. In fact, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. In the OT, God’s glory dwelt in the Tent of Meeting, Tabernacle and Temple but in the NT, God dwells in us, our earthy tent. The glory and power of God now lives in us. And if we allow God’s Spirit to burn bright in us, then we will be like Moses and reflect the glory of God.
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
Graystone’s focus this year is spiritual growth. We want to see the presence of God grow stronger, bigger and brighter in EVERYONE’s life. Our goal this year is to grow the spiritual flame in the life of every member at Graystone: adults, students and children.
I gave 3 practical steps to fan the flame of God in your life:
1. Fuel the fire daily through a personal devotional life
2. Gather weekly for corporate worship (I.e. bon fire)
3. “Do life” in small group fellowship and accountability (I.e. campfire)
Challenge/Application: set yourself on fire for God and burn bright for Him
I tried to get Heath to literally set himself on fire as an illustration to my message, but he did not think I was serious. It would have been powerful and memorable.
Check back later for my Monday Download
We had a great crowd at Graystone on New Year’s Weekend! Everyone did seem a bit tired, myself included.
Next year (2012), New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. We may have to have one LATE service.
I thought “Kyle and the Band” nailed the John Mayer song, “Why Georgia?” Too cool.
Julia thinks the song should be more appropriately named “Am I living it right?”
The feature song along with the Seinfeld clip was the perfect set up to my message, “I want a better life”.
I can relate to George. Of the Seinfeld characters, who do you most relate to? Kramer? Newman? Man hands?
I read the book, The Prayer of Jabez, several years ago, and God laid it on my heart to share it at Graystone to begin the new year.
If everyone is wanting a healthy and prosperous 2011, I’m thinking God can come through better than black-eyed peas, cabbage and collard greens.
Several people have emailed me their Prayer of Jabez stories. Too cool.
The challenge from the book is to pray the Prayer of Jabez every day and see how God blesses.
Let’s do it!
Let’s pray right now, “Lord, bless me indeed. Enlarge my territory. Be with me. Keep me from evil. Amen!”
After each service, I had the privilege to pray with people. I think I am going to make this my normal modus operandi.
I decided last night to go ahead and eat all the candy in the house, so I could get started on the right foot today. Jennifer made brownies tonight.
I used my Christmas money to buy sheet rock and insulation. I spent two days last week hanging sheet rock in my basement. What a way to spend a couple of days off. I am now so motivated that I went out tonight and bought 21 more pieces of sheet rock. Look out Bob Vila.
I know how to hang sheet rock, because in both of our church plants, we renovated warehouses. Hanging sheet rock is one of the useful tools I picked up from being a church planter. They do not teach you in seminary how to hang sheet rock. There are actually a lot of things about being a pastor that they did not teach me in seminary. I do not have time to get into them now.
There is something about doing a project that just draws people together. It is kind of like winning a championship together.
The Saints have a hard road through the playoffs. I’m hoping for a win at Seattle, a Packer’s upset of the Eagles, Saints beating Bears at Soldier Field, Falcons beating Packers, and then an NFC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome of a Saints vs Falcons rubber match. I would be happy with the Saints or Falcons in the Superbowl and would love to see them beat Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Speaking of the Superbowl, I beat Joelan in Madden 11 last night to win the Superbowl (Saints 35 over Falcons 28). Joelan was so mad, because that was my first time to play Xbox…beginners luck?
I’ve actually been playing a lot of video games over the holidays to spend time with my family. Jennifer owns me in “Words with Friends”. She gets major points spelling words that she does not know the definition while using high letter values on triple word spaces…Not that I am competitive or anything.
I’m really pumped about the next two Sundays at Graystone. We will be focusing on dating and marriage. Both weeks, “Kyle and the Band” have cool country songs planned. This week for “I Want a Better Wife”, they are covering a Brad Paisley song. Can you guess what it is?
Well, I gotta go. The Orange Bowl is about to kickoff. And it’s my play against Jennifer. She played ‘GIP’ 12 hours ago for 12 points.
I love Mark 2:1-5 that tells the story of 5 guys (not the burger joint). 4 friends carry their paralyzed buddy to the house Jesus was preaching the word. There was such a large crowd that they could not get in (Let’s pray this for Christmas Eve!). So, the 4 friends dig a hole in the roof of the house and lower their buddy down to Jesus. Because of their faith, Jesus heals the man.
What stands out to me most about this story is that these 4 guys loved their friend so much that they were willing to do whatever it takes to bring him to Jesus. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to bring people to Jesus?
Jim Hollandsworth, our Missions Pastor, has rented a 50 passenger coach bus to pick people up in the Gwinnett Estates community to bring them to Christmas Eve at Graystone. The reason Jim is doing this is that he loves the people of Gwinnett Estates and wants to see them come to Jesus.
If Jim is willing to rent a bus to bring the people of Gwinnett Estates to Jesus, what are we willing to do to bring our loved ones to Jesus? Christmas Eve is one of the best opportunities of the year to invite our friends and family to church. The message (I.e. entire service is the message) God has given us to share is a powerful one. Let’s not miss this opportunity. Let’s do WHATEVER it takes to bring people to Jesus!
Who do you need to invite to Christmas Eve? Pick them up and bring them with you. Rent a bus if you have to.
Jesus said “Let the little children come to me.” The children and youth are not the future of Graystone Church. They are a big part of Graystone Church NOW. I thought all the kids did great yesterday in the Christmas Program. I was very impressed with the preschoolers quoting John 3:16 and for the kids who quoted passages out of Luke. We really do have the most beautiful, talented, and gifted kids in all the world.
I was also impressed with the actors/actresses and all the memorization they had for The Christmas Hang Ups Production. It was a clever story and a tremendous message. And all the singing was great. You know that Taylor Swift and other singers got their start in children’s church productions. Just sayin.
A big THANK YOU goes out to Katie Landress, our Children’s Pastor, and all the staff and volunteers who helped with the children’s program. It was an AMAZING service. It was also great seeing so many old people at Graystone. It made me feel a little younger.
I heard that our high schoolers made some big decisions at Windy Gap and our entire GSM is moving forward spiritually. Another THANK YOU goes out to Nate and all our of staff and volunteers who took the students to Winter Retreat. I cannot wait until Joelan and Julia are old enough to go!
BTW, Jessie will be old enough (3 years old) for the Children’s Christmas Program next year. Let me just go ahead and warn you that it will be out of hand with her and her buddies…Inlow, Hollandsworth, Hale, Wilson to name a few. Did I mention that the Graystone Kids are the most beautiful and gifted kids in the world? OK, I might be a little biased.
Christmas Eve Services are in 4 Days!!!
I’m extremely pumped about my message, the music, the candlelight service, and a surprise or two. Over 200 people on FACEBOOK are already signed up to come. I’m wondering if YOUTUBE will be there?
It is history in the making that we are having our first ever service in Spanish. BTW, I will not be preaching that message. Luis will have the honor.
The Front Room (the room formally known as the Gym, All Stars Room, and GSM Room) is getting renovated and will be ready for Christmas Eve. It looks great BTW. It will be a 100-200 seat auditorium/ multi-purpose room.
Are you ready for Christmas? I ordered Jennifer’s Christmas gift from www.slamglam.com. Honestly, Jennifer ordered it herself.
Yesterday, I was giving the elementary age kids some suggestions for Christmas gifts for their pastor (Xbox, ipad, cold hard cash) and Hannah Hairston said, “Do you have any less expensive suggestions?” Kids.
I weighed in this morning at 207.5 pounds. I worked out 5 days last week and gained half a pound. It does not look like my 199 goal for Christmas Eve is gonna happen. It was a pipe dream.
On a more devastating note, Adrian Peterson laid an egg last Monday night for the MS Mullets and only gained 26 yard (2.6 points). I lost 79.60 to 79.46 to the lowly 7th seeded Shack’s Falcons. In the words of my kids, I am now in the constellation bracket. My attention has turned heavily to ESPN College Bowl Mania and the “We Are Family Bowl Pics”.
Also receiving votes: Jenn’s parents fly in tonight; new space heater; Nate is excited about Neil Diamond on Sing Off; I’ll preach in a mustache if the Falcons make it further in the NFL playoffs than the Saints…more likely, Nate will be shaving his head; Sugarland and Brad Paisley are tentatively on the January Set Lists, The Cam Newton of 2011 signs with LSU, Go Ducks!!!
A fourth idea to spread the news about Jesus this Christmas Season is Door To Door Caroling. This is a great idea specifically targeted for those of you who like the show Sing Off. This is a fun outing with a group of friends, preferably guys and girls, and is a great way to spread the Holiday cheer.
Matt Shirley, one of Graystone’s founding members, loves to carol and probably already has some “Nights of Caroling” planned out. He would be a good person to call if you are interested. If you do decide to carol, wear warm clothes because “Baby, it’s cold outside” and please come O’ Caroling at my house. I will have some hot chocolate for everyone.