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Josh, Kim, Hayden and Madison Whitehead

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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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I haven’t had a chance to blog because our family was on vacation last week at the beach.  Several people complained yesterday that they were sick of me tweeting/facebooking that I was enjoying my Thanksgiving break at the beach.  Well, Nate preached a great message Sunday titled, Grateful.  I was simply tweeting how grateful I was to God for good food, good times and a great family.

For those of you who were sick of me tweeting about my  good time at the beach, I did  have a little scare.  I was attacked by a great white shark while kite boarding.  See picture on the right.

All joking aside, I never had a chance to celebrate our baptism service with you.  On November 20 at Graystone Church, we had 77 people crash the waters of baptism and make public professions of their faith in Jesus Christ.  PRAISE GOD!!!  I am so proud of each person who took his/her next step of faith and obedience.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s thank God for allowing our church to be a part of something so special.  May God have all the glory!

Check the blog tomorrow.  I will be posting the Holiday schedule at Graystone and all the exciting things we have planned for the Christmas season.  As I write this post, Clark W. Griswold is getting the Christmas decorations out of storage.  

 

 

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A couple of hours ago, I walked into Sport Clips with a “Dear Life, WHAT Happened?” mailer and said, “Give me a ‘Josh Clark’”.  My new stylist, Tynsia, was a first time visitor to Graystone Church yesterday.  She loved it and is thinking of bringing one of her adult daughters next Sunday.  BTW, I left looking young and hip but not as cool as Josh.  Tynsia worked her magic but only had so much to work with…if you know what I mean.

The LSU Tigers are #1 and Bama only dropped to #3 in the BCS.  I anticipate a rematch in the National Championship if LSU can get past Arkansas…always a close game when you are playing for a golden boot.  And Arkansas’ only loss is to Bama in Ttown.  I would love to see LSU play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.  If anyone has tickets, God is telling you to hook up your pastor and his son.

The Bama fans are saying that LSU got lucky.  Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.  Nick Saben got out-coached by the mad hatter.  And the LSU players wanted it more.  6’1″ LSU safety, Eric Reid, wanted the ball more than the 6’6″ Bama Tight End.  So, he took it away from him on the goal line.  What do you want?  Go get it.  Go for your dreams.

There were 32% more people at Graystone yesterday than the first Sunday in November 2010.  And it was our largest general fund offering of the year (with the exception of Easter Sunday).  Also, yesterday equaled the largest Graystone Kids attendance of the year (with the exception of Easter Sunday) and there was plenty of room for all the kids.  PRAISE GOD!

The Kids Village is a huge success.  The kids have so much more space, and they love it.  Thank you to all who helped make it possible.  I personally like having staff and elder meetings in the new G45 room.  And I don’t even play video games.

Yesterday, someone told me, “Guest services looked like The Gap check out during a Christmas sale.”  People were flocking to get free Bibles and quiet time plans.  AWESOME!  God’s word will change lives.  We simply need to let it in our systems.

Yesterday, I woke up.  I guess you all knew that.  Anyway, when I woke up, God said to me (not audibly) to preach without my notes.  I didn’t want to. We argued about it for a little while.  We also discussed my LSU T-shirt.  Well, I was obedient, and He gave me the go ahead on the LSU shirt.  Win-Win.  Without the safety net (Paul McCrae’s words) of my notes, I really had to depend and trust on God.  He came through as He always does.

When I ripped off my hooded sweatshirt and revealed my LSU shirt, I felt like Clark Kent turning into Superman.

Hopefully, God spoke to EVERYONE through the message, and YOU are taking your next step of obedience.

I’ve heard that DOZENS of people are crashing the waters of baptism as their “Next Step”.  I can’t wait!

What do you need to PUT OFF?  Get rid of it!  Kill it!  Put it to DEATH!

What do you need to PUT ON?  A character quality?  An action step?  Do it!  Take a baby step.  Heck, jump off a cliff and take a huge leap of faith!

What is your “Next Step”?  I would love to hear about it.

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10. Jessie along with a thousand or so other people had a blast at the Fall Carnival.  A big THANK YOU goes out to Katie Landress, Rusty Knight and the team.  I’m pretty sure that there were a few animals that didn’t make it out of the petting zoo alive.

9. The opening of the Kids Village.  It looks amazing!  AGAIN, a big THANK YOU goes out to Katie, the staff and all the small groups and volunteers who helped paint, move furniture, and decorate.  I heard the kids love their new rooms and there was plenty of space in ALL the classes.

8. Getting the Certificate of Occupancy for the Kids Village in 3 weeks was a miracle.  A big THANK YOU goes out to Jim, Elliott, and Tony Smith.  We could not have done it without Tony. BTW, you really can drive a mack truck across the deck his team built.  Seriously.

7. Superbowl Prediction: New Orleans Saints over the LSU Tigers 24-23.  The LSU defense is tough, but I think Drew Brees and company put enough points on the board to win their 2nd Superbowl in 3 years.  The oldest guy in the NFL kicks the game winning field goal.

6. I got to meet and talk with many new folks to Graystone at the Fall Carnival.  It was a beautiful Fall day.  And the fellowship was even sweeter.

5. The newly assembled Graystone Ladies USTA 3.0 Tennis Team is gonna make some noise this Winter.  Just sayin.  And they have an awesome coach.

4.  It was great to see Ashley and Jamal.   They were not together.  Just two former interns who visited on the same weekend.  I’m not even sure if they know each other.  Are you still reading about this?

3. “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park is one of the best songs ever covered at Graystone.  “Kyle and the Band” nailed it!  It was the perfect feature song for my message.  I’m pretty sure the younger crowd loved it.  I know this old fart did.

2. I met a dad who shared with me that his “Prodigal Son” came home to God on week 1 of “Dear Life, What Happened?”  He said that they came down to the altar together, wept, and mended their estranged relationship.  He said that God used Graystone and spoke directly through me to bring his son back to God.  WOW!  This is why we started Graystone and why we do what we do.  Kleenex please.

1. In Christ, we are forgiven of ALL our sins…past, present and future (1 John 1:9).  Our sins have been washed as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).  We have been separated from our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  Our iniquities have been hurled into the depths of the sea to be lost forever (Micah 7:19).    And our transgressions have been blotted from the record, and God choses to remember them no more (Isaiah 43:25).  Can I get an Amen?

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Yesterday was the 7 year anniversary of Graystone Church.  Instead of celebrating the past (nothing wrong with that), we decided to ReLaunch the church to our community.  Everyone did a tremendous job of inviting people and getting the word out.  It was great to see so many new faces and to see others who have not been in a while.

The most exciting thing about yesterday was that a few dozen people came home to God, and 5 others committed their lives to Christ for the first time.   3 of those were kids last night at Katie’s small group.  You can read more on her blog:  www.graystonekids.com.

PRAISE GOD!

I want to encourage everyone to follow up with a least one person that you saw at church yesterday.  It could be the friend or family member that you invited, a person you met for the first time, or someone who came back to Graystone after an absence.  In Jesus’ ministry, he taught the multitudes, discipled a few, and touched individual lives.  Whose life do you need to touch this week?  Let’s keep inviting people and do all we can to help them “take root and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ” (Col. 2:6-7).

It is a privilege to serve Christ with you.  You, our staff and volunteers, are AMAZING!  Let’s DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ. And may God have ALL the glory.

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Andre, Julia, and Alana riding the Rock and Roll Roller Coaster at MGM

Julia is at Disney World for Fall Break.

When is my Fall Break?  How can I go to Florida for a week for FREE?

Tennis updates: Jennifer has decided to be a beast at the net.  Jessie can now hit a one-handed forehand.  I have a huge bruise on my thigh from getting tagged with an overhead on Saturday morning…weekend warrior.

LSU Tigers are #1 in the nation.

Jennifer’s dad, Gramps the Great, is #1 is the nation (out of 80,000+ contestants) on ESPN College Football Challenge.  I am ranked 25,422.  He is ranked #1.

I don’t even want to talk about the Mississippi Mullets.  Fantasy Football is stupid and a waste of time.  Our time is better spent in fasting and prayer.

My message yesterday was A Call to Pray.  Simple but challenging.

I like what Leonard Ravenhill says about prayer,

Preaching affects men; prayer affects God.

Preaching affects time; prayer affects eternity.

I am personally trying to pray more and pray better.  I pray that our church will be a praying church.  I need to be a praying pastor.

Here are a few (Is 4 more than a few?) prayer initiatives:

1. Day of Prayer and Fasting on Wednesday, October 12.  Here are 3 previous posts on fasting:  Tuesday- Day of Prayer and FastingThe Purpose of Fasting, and Only By Prayer and Fasting.

2. Join the Prayer Team: info@graystonechurch.com

3.  Prayer Service, Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00PM

4.  Graystone Prayer Wall:  (http://prayer.graystonechurch.com/)

24 hours a day on the Graystone Prayer Wall, you can post prayer requests and pray for up to the minute prayer requests.  Also, every day at 1:14 PM (Joel 1:14), everyone is encouraged to stop what you are doing, and say a short prayer for the specific POTD (Pray of the Day).  You can find the POTD on the Prayer Wall.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

BTW, KATB did a great job leading worship yesterday, and I could sense God’s spirit moving.  It seemed like more people were really singing out and “getting lost” in worship.  I really think Graystone is growing spiritually…ON FIRE…AWAKENING!

I loved seeing so many people in both services kneeling at the altar and crying out to God in prayer.  Cast all our anxieties on Him bc He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

I cannot wait to see what God does through PKS (Project Kids Space).  Let’s pray that He does “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).”  The goals are Bronze ($40k), Silver ($75k), and Gold ($100k).

I wonder what “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine” is?  The Platinum goal?  Or the Diamond?

PS…What is up with the Braves?

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