Archive for the ‘Monday Download’ Category

For those of you who like to be “in the know”:

1.  29 first-time visitors filled out communication cards Sunday at Graystone.  Awesome!

2.  50+ middle schoolers worshipped together during the 10:30 service.  I heard the band was phenomenal, and we had around 15 volunteers serving the kids.  I know one 13 year old girl who loved it.  If you have a middle schooler, try your best to get him/her to the middle school service this Sunday at 10:30.

3. We’re launching Graystone Walton in Loganville High School on Sunday, March 3, 2013.  Elliott Rogers is serving as the campus pastor.  Our next info/team meeting will be Sunday, November 18 at 12:00 in the Student Room.

4. The Fall Carnival is this Sunday from 5-7PM at Graystone Church.  If you’re new to Graystone, you need to know that almost ALL the adults dress up in Halloween costumes.  Just kidding!  It is a blast and one of my favorite events of the year.  This is a great opportunity to invite a friend, especially if he/she has kids.

5. Chris Hunt, Graystone’s program director, is mobile, agile and availabile.  He’s hoping to have a wife by staff retreat in July of 2013.  And the snake he is carrying around in the below video is not his, so don’t let that deter you “single ladies”.

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Yesterday at Graystone was the highest attended June Sunday in the history of our church (50% growth from 2011).  We had several families visiting whose kids participated in Sports Camp.  And all the rain cancelled the kids softball and baseball tournaments, so this enabled many of the families involved in travel ball and all-stars to attend.  I’m really proud of those families who came on to church once the games were cancelled.  Some families showed up in their baseball gear…hat, cleats and all.  I love it!

Here are a few highlights from yesterday:

Ryan and KATB killed it on Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I love the fact that we redeemed this song for the glory of God.  I hope when people hear it that they will be reminded of our simple mission: to know God and make God known.

Jason Piper was the all around Twinkie eating champion.  He put down 5+ Twinkies in 45 seconds.  Adam Wilson tied him but bowed out of the Twinkie eat off.  BTW, that is the first carb Adam has eaten since 2006.  Thanks to all the men who participated.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the parking team who weathered the rain.  You guys are amazing!

The kids who participated in Sports Camp received their certificate.  I shared this during my message but over 30 kids, mostly 3rd-5th graders, made professions of faith in Christ.  This is what it’s all about.  I will post the Sports Camp highlight video soon.

I want to thank David Pollack, Jon Stinchcomb, Andre King and David Greene for signing our football giveaway.  I think this is a pretty unique ball.  All of these former NFL players are “friends” of Graystone.  We will show the video drawing and announce the winner in my next blog post.

EVERYONE seemed to like the Nkemdiche hit on me.  Some people thought he didn’t hit me very hard.  Well, why don’t you stand wide open and let a 6’5″ 282 pound man who runs a 4.5 40 hit you at point blank range?  I think he hit me hard enough.  Also, for whatever reason, we had to do more than one video shoot.  Thanks Robert for being so gracious to shoot the video.  I’ll post it later as well.

My message was pretty clear.  Our purpose for following Jesus is to reach other people for Christ.  Following Jesus = Fishers of Men (Matthew 4:19)…This is our mission: to know God and to make God known.  Graystone Church is not a “keepers of the aquarium” church.  We are to NOT inwardly focused trying to keep our Christian fish fat and happy.  We are a “fishers of men” church.  We are doing whatever it takes to catch as many men, women and children for God’s kingdom as we possibly can.

As long as Jesus is the center of our ministry and we are being faithful to do what He has called us to do, He will continue to fill our nets and our boats (Luke 5:1-11).  And when are nets and boats are full, we need to increase them so we do not limit what God wants to do in our lives, church and ministry.  And the more our ministry grows, the more workers we will need to help us (Luke 5:7).

Another analogy I used was from the story of Jesus calling Levi to follow Him (Luke 5:27-31).  Levi was so overwhelmed with God’s love and grace that he throws a party for Jesus.  The party is twofold. First, it was to celebrate his salvation and thank Jesus.  Secondly, it was to invite his friends to meet Jesus.  This is what we do every Sunday morning at Graystone.  We throw a party for Jesus to worship Him and to invite others to worship Him.

This upcoming Sunday, Father’s Day, will be one of our biggest parties of the year.  We are giving away a FREE Polaris ATV.  It is the easiest Sunday in the history of Graystone to invite a man to church.

Who are you inviting?

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Easter Sunday at Graystone was amazing, and I was honored to be a part of it.  The fact that every one of us is “Someone Worth Dying For” never gets old to me.  I am overwhelmed by God’s love, grace, and forgiveness and am so thankful for Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  I love Easter!

I want to THANK all of YOU who serve on the Graystone Team.  God is using you to DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ and lives are being changed for all eternity.  I’m blown away that God allows us to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Thank you to those of you who made a sacrifice to come at 9:00 or noon.  As it turned out, we were slammed at 9:00 at almost maximum capacity (I’m not sure what this is, but I think we were close.)  It turned out great, because we had empty seats at 10:30 for our guests.  Hopefully, they saw that we have plenty of space for them in our “living room.”  Also, I loved having the larger than normal crowd at noon.  I was energized and think it was the best of the 3 messages.

THANK YOU to our incredible volunteers…the admin team, cleaning team, landscape team, parking team, children’s workers, children’s check in team, design team, coffee team, greeters, ushers, tech team, Chris Chester, band, etc.  There were several volunteers who served all 3 services…AMAZING!  Thank you so much to all the men who prayed with and for me before the first service.  I can’t tell you how much this encouraged me.

Thank you to the mission team who served in Wilmington, VT last week to help launch Valleytown Church.  They had an incredible first Sunday.  God is moving in Wilmington, and Ben and the team are pumped.

As always, KATB did a tremendous job leading us in worship and keeping our Easter focused on Christ.  HE IS ALIVE!  And He lives in us.  The same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in us.  May He empowered us the live an abundant life on earth and for all eternity.

Thanks again for serving God through Graystone Church.  I love you guys.  The best is yet to come!


P.S.  I will post some Easter pics soon.

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Dale, Jerry Carnill, Jim, and Me

1. I ate goat in Haiti.

2. They cook the entire animal.  I’m not sure what part I ate.  My guess is ankle?

3. At the mission, they cook on an open campfire.

4. $20/month feeds a kid at the school for a month and gives him/her a Christian education.

5.  The teachers were very impressive.  They only make $100 a month.

6. I got to meet all 130 kids that folks are sponsoring through Graystone.  

7.  The children are very well behaved, and you can see the love of God in them.

8.  I loved hearing them sing Christian songs and hymns.

9.  They recite Psalm 23 each morning when school begins.

10.  There is no running water at the church/school/mission.

11.  They do have a toilet that flushes.

12. Jim clogged it up but got it unclogged with a coat hanger and a prayer.

13.  During my chapel message, I told the kids that Jim was one of the fastest men in America.

14. Jim raced one of the boys and lost.

15.  Jim also jumped roped with the girls.  I have it on video.  It is priceless.

16.  One of the orphans asked Jim if he could come home with him to America.

17.  The orphanage at the mission is two tents.

18. The roof on the church/school is falling down.

19. I’m hoping our mission team this Summer can rebuild the roof and make it safe.

20.Pastor Jeff is making a major sacrifice to live in Haiti under primitive conditions and without his family.

21.  The church, Voice of Christ, owns 50 acres and has an great master plan for the property.

22.  Pastor Jeff’s parents donated 30 acres of the land to Voice of Christ.

23.  Pastor Jeff’s vision is to reach Haiti for Christ.

24. In order to get to the mission, you have to drive on a dirt road over a mountain and through a couple of creeks/rivers.

25.  Jim loved driving the Land Cruiser.

26.  In Port-au-Prince, we saw hundreds of thousands of people living in tents.

27.  Port-au-Prince is overcrowded and dirty.  There is still wreckage from the earthquake and debris everywhere.  It looks like a war zone.

28. In the middle of downtown Port-au-Prince, we saw a skinny, weathered lady take off all her clothes, squat by the street and drink water running down the curb.  It was horrifying and sad.

29.  At the hotel room in Port-au-Prince at 4:00AM in my sleep, I almost attacked Dale coming out of the bathroom.  Once I realized it was Dale, I said, “Hi Dale” and went back to bed.

30.  I have many more stories and so much more to share about our trip to Haiti, but I will save the rest for Vision Night (part 2).

31.  Vision Night will be next Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00PM.  Childcare is provided.

32. At Vision Night, we will also celebrate some of the incredible things God is doing at Graystone.

33.  For example, we had over 400 people last Sunday at the noon service.

34.  And we will spend some time praying for our Easter Egg Outreach Event and our Easter services on April 8.  BTW, Easter is only 4 Sundays away.  Who are you inviting?

35.  We have 15,000 plastic eggs for the Egg Hunt on March 25 at 5:30PM.  We still need tons and tons of candy to fill the eggs.  If you can donate any candy, it would be greatly appreciated!

36.  I’m pretty sure Jessie will spend the majority of the Egg Hunt in the petting zoo.  I’m going to try and keep her away from the goats.

37.  This Sunday at Graystone will be the most powerful service in the Marriage Wars series.

38.  KATB will open the service with a Bruno Mars song.  Don’t be late, or you will miss it.

39.  I had never heard of Bruno Mars until the Grammy’s.

40.  Adele is now my favorite singer.  Not really but I do know who she is.

41.  I’m pretty sure Ryan Brooks is singing Sunday but don’t hold me to it.

42.  I think Ryan should try out for The Voice.

43.  Cee Lo Green is creepy.

44. We had our annual March Madness lunch yesterday with Matt Harvie.  It was great to see him, and we had fun at Wild Wings with 680 The Fan.  One of the fan girls flirted with Matt and gave him a free T-shirt.

45.  I always pick the wrong 5 vs 12 upset.  I have Kentucky, UNC, Mizzou, and FSU in my Final Four.

46.  This Sunday is a great Sunday to invite a friend to Graystone.  Aren’t they all?  Seriously, there are so many creative elements, and we will have a very powerful, spirit-filled response time after the message.

47.  The title of my message this Sunday is “How to Have An Affair”.

48.  Over the last several years, I’ve seen dozens and dozens of affairs happen. I’m going to share with you how they happen, so you can protect against one from killing your marriage.

49.  I do not want to see any more Graystone families have to go through the pain of an affair and subsequent divorce.  We are in a war.  And I hope EVERYONE is committed to fight for their marriages and families.

50.  I have somehow managed to work the American Dream Dusty Rhodes into this week’s message. AGAIN.

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11 Babies at 10:30

This past Sunday Graystone added a 3rd service and changed our times to 9:00AM, 10:30AM, and 12:00PM.  After two packed services (People actually got up early and came at 9:00AM…THANK YOU!), I didn’t think anyone was going to come at noon.  In the green room, I gave KATB a little pep talk: “Audience of One”.  Kyle joked back: “Audience of 20.”  Well, we were going all out no matter how many people showed up.  BTW, Jessica killed the Jordin Sparks song.  And I have to confess, I found myself rockin back and forth during “Batttlefield” a little bit more than I would like to admit.  But at least I don’t take bubble baths and wear skinny jeans.  In a gesture of grace toward Nate, I used skinny jeans as an example instead of Tom’s shoes.  Anyway, where was I?

355 people attended the 12:00PM (noon) service.  PRAISE GOD!  Thank you to those of you who attended to free up space at 10:30.  Also, a big THANK YOU to everyone who served yesterday.  We could not do any of this without our incredible volunteers.  And I just want you to know that I love you (in a platonic way), and we (I speak for all the staff) are so appreciative of your servant’s heart and dedication to God.  God is using you to DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ!

BTW, I loved the noon service.  We had the two middle sections completely full and had to open up the side sections.  It felt like the old days at the warehouse.  I even called out Don Shackleton for old times sake. It was also fun to hang out afterwards and talk with everyone.  We had so many kids at noon that Katie is having to add more kids’ rooms for next Sunday.

Well, I know that many of you were wondering how the move to 3 services went, especially the noon service.  So, there you have it.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  God is great!  I am honored to serve with you at Graystone.

The best is yet to come!


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(Link to original post with comments)

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Josh, Kim, Hayden and Madison Whitehead

(Link to orignal post with comments)

KATB led us in a great time of worship.  It was one of my favorite worship sets EVER.

Trey McKnight brought it singing “Everything” by Lifehouse.  I love that song.

God’s spirit spoke through Josh Whitehead to teach us about spiritual gifts.  I love the idea that God does not regift anyone, but He has uniquely gifted each of us according to His perfect plan and purpose.  Every believer has a spiritual gift.  If you say that God has not given you a gift, then you are saying that you are not a believer.  Also, if you are not serving God, then you are not spiritually mature.

I thought the apple pie story was a great way to illustrate how the different spiritual gifts play out in our lives.

Well, I hope you enjoyed Josh’s last sermon at Graystone Church.  I guess if you want an easy laugh, then make fun of the old pastor.  I am an easy target.  I actually hope and pray that Josh will speak many more times at Graystone Church.  He is a great friend and partner in ministry.  I know that it was God’s spirit who led us to sit next to each other in “Basic Hebrew” in the Fall of 1998.

It’s hard to believe that we are already talking about Sports Camp 2011.  I’m trusting God for 1000 kids this year.  We need every person at Graystone to sign up to serve.  It will take our entire church family to pull off an event of this magnitude.  And let me just say that it is my favorite week of the year, because it is fun “doing ministry” with everyone, and I get to see the entire Graystone Church body working together to see hundreds of kid’s lives impacted for Jesus Christ.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

Speaking of “kids”, I heard that Cweekend was phenomenal.  A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who served our high school kids this weekend: host homes, drivers, small group leaders, those who prepared snacks/meals, etc.  Over 40 HS kids heard God’s plan for love, sex, and dating.  Let’s keep them in our prayers in this very pivotal time in their lives.

Next Sunday, I will be speaking on “the filling of the Holy Spirit”.  What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?  Is there a 2nd baptism?  If so, what is it?  What is speaking in tongues and what is the purpose of it?  It should be a good one.

Well, other than my “create a caption/picture contests”, I have a hard time drumming up comments on my blog. But, let’s see how we can do with this one:

Do you know your spiritual gift(s)?  If so, what is it?

Let’s hear it.  I really am interested to know if you know your spiritual gifts, and I am curious what each of your gifts are.  I have the gifts of Apostleship, Evangelism, Faith, and Teaching.

How about you?

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