Thursday, March 24, 2005

Resurrection Sunday

I have the joy of preaching this Sunday. What a day...our Lord has risen and conquered death forever!

At our church we're in the middle of a series on Acts and the schedule worked perfectly so that the conversion of Saul falls on Easter. So instead of interrupting the series we're using the story of Saul meeting the risen Lord. Pretty cool.

Hope you have a blessed time celebrating the Risen One.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Why I Love My Pastor #220

I think Pastor Tim Practices what he preaches. Tim really loves the "Church" and not the four walls that surround our church. He wants God's church to grow. He reads and teaches the Word from the heart. He seems to preach what God wants him to preach. You can tell its Christ directed because sometimes it seems like he is preaching directly to me. I really admire him and his love of God and the Church. I know he walks with Jesus and wants us all to walk with Jesus. I'm Definitely glad to have him as a brother in Christ and as a leader for Christ.
--Clark

Why I Love My Pastor #219

I would like to take this opportunity to honour my Pastor, Dave. He has unashamedly spoken the truth of God's Word. He has not been afraid to challenge the norm and has called us all back to a new testament church way of living. He has humbly confessed his weaknesses whilst never once taking his eyes of Jesus. He has time for every person in the church. He is heavily involved in inter-church relationships not wanting unity for unity's sake alone, but for God's kingdom to grow and advance. His Godly example has both encouraged and inspired me.

Tim

Why I Love My Pastor #218

I love and deeply respect my Pastor, Kenneth, for the sacrifices he has made and hardship he has had to endure as the Minister of my congregation. His excellent expository preaching and teaching as well as his passion for one-on-one ministry have strengthened my faith as well as revolutionized my conception of a Minister. I applaud Him for his bold stands for Biblical truth and wish him nothing but the best in future endeavours at the Church and elsewhere.
--David

Why I Love My Pastor # 217

I belive that God brings certain people in and out of our lives for reasons, sometimes, we may never know. And we're blessed beyond belief, that some days it's hard to think of what life would have been like without them.

My name's Sarah, and I'm 17 years old. I remember meeting my youth pastor in 8th grade when I was living with my father that was never around, and my stepmother and stepsisters that beat me. He first asked for anyone who wanted prayer and I was the first one at the alter. That's when it started, when I started to build a family at church that would support me throughout my youth. Tom (my youth pastor) prayed with me and his wife and set me up with small goup leaders and a great family home..

Last year I was very ill, and in-and-out of the hospital a lot. My youth pastors Tom and his wife Tonja were in the hospital with me for surgery and constantly calling to check on me and visiting me and praying for/with me. They made a huge poster that said "We Love You, Sarah" that our whole youth group signed, and they hung it in my hospital room.

This year I live with my mom, and my dad lives out of the country and has never called for me once. At my school we have a "daddy/daughter dance" and I cried thinking of it. My youth pastor was the most respectiable man I know, and I told him I wished I could take him to the dance with me. Instead, that night him, his wife and I went out to dinner and caught up on things. They both taught me not to be afraid to love, but to embrace it, and God's been teaching me that most this year.

Tom has been our high school youth pastor for almost 4 years now. He's lead mission trips to Idaho and Mexico with the youth; he's organized the youth worship team, the high school servant team, drama team and outreach team at Northwest Foursquare church.. I can say that God has blessed me with someone I can look up to and I'll always remember him as the best youth pastor, and a wonderful father figure who's taught me a lot about life, God, and everything in between.

Why I Love My Pastor #216

Having been a pastor's kid for over a decade, I have had the unique opportunity to support my pastor not only at church but also at home: packing a lunch, filing papers, baking something for him to enjoy after a late-night elder's meeting . . .

I've also been able to observe the unending opportunities for heart-felt service that pastoral ministry provides, a trade of love that Elizabeth Elliot calls "My life for yours." I have seen the humility and integrity with which Dad serves his congregation, and I am proud to have him for both a pastor and a father.

Bethany

Why I Love My Pastor #215

I've been going to Fusion for 4 weeks. I'm not saved yet, but feel it coming closer every day. I have never had so much respect for a man I've only said all of ten words to, than pastor Nathan. He has definetly been a positive force in my new life of pursuing Christ. He is an unbeliveable speaker, and has inspired me to grab this new found faith by the horns and go with it. Thank you pastor Nathan.
--
Joey

Why I Love My Pastor # 214

Our pastor is very passionate about the church and is always working hard to spread that passion. He started our relationship-based cell group church just a little over a year ago. It is growing and we are getting more and more involved in helping each other and helping the community. Pastor Barry has 4 small children and works so hard and, like many pastors, probably does not get appreciated enough. We do appreciate his honesty and his passion to teach the truth and reach the lost. He is always encouraging us to read a particular passage of Scripture or pray for certain people, etc. He has a heart of gold, and we need more pastors like him!

Why I Love My Pastor #213

I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to our Pastor (Pastor Van). Pastor Van is a true man of God, leading not only in word but in example - demonstrating a true and sincere devotion to God and a huge heart for people.

Pastor Van came to our church with a vision which has become our mission: "Strengthening Families by Reaching the Next Generation for Christ".

Throught Pastor Van's leadership and commitment, our church has grown by leaps and bounds and the next generation is being reached.

Pastor Van believes that church goes beyond the walls of a building. And that shows.

I've never been involved in a church that reaches out the way this one does. My wife and I are blessed to have found our church and we're blessed not only on Sundays, but every day, knowing that we have a pastor with a true heart for God, for young people, and for all people.

Thank you Pastor Van.

Why I Love My Pastor #212

I appreciate Dr. Hinson's vision for missions not only in our small capital town but in our state. He has encouraged our congregation to stretch beyond ourselves to give sacrificially of both time and resources. People are having their dental needs met, at our church! They can find clothing, medical care and be referred to the food bank. Dr. Hinson envisioned a mission center in one of the poorest areas of Eastern Kentucky. We were able to purchase the property, set the mission up and now they have groups from all over the East come to help them with their work. Dr. Hinson had a vision of what God could do within our congregation and set about to make us see that vision.

Why I Love My Pastor # 211

Pastor Dwayne is an incredible pastor because there is no doubting his motivation - he loves his church, not the big building or expanding his "ministry," but the people. He is genuinely a shepherd. He's a model family man, a loving no-nonsense counselor, a fantastic preacher, and an innovative leader. I reference his teaching all the time in my own. He has been the single greatest Christian influence in my life.

Why I Love My Pastor #210

hi! its Mizpah from Philippines. I'm so blessed by your books, really blessed. My dadis a pastor in a remote island in the Phillippines. He is a missionary there and i'm so blessed with him because no matter how hard the life in mission field he always there for them. So many trials and persecution, they have been experienced storm, but still God is faithful to them.

Why I Love My Pastor # 209

Tony is not merely a pastor, but also a spiritual father who teaches his children in the faith with patience and excitement. Though he is the pastor he has given me the example of serving people and cleaning up after them. He vacuum's the church just as well as he preaches. His intimacy with God leaks out in his heart for the lost and the found. Compassion and wisdom define him. He is diligent, responsible and above all, loving. --John

Why I Love My Pastor #208

Hello! I'm Aissa from the Philippines. I appreciate my Pastor Arnie very much because he inspires the men in our church to rise up in faith and to take on the "automatic" leadership that God has bestowed upon men. He is very commited to the vision of our church which is to honor God and advance His Kingdom by making disciples, training leaders and planting churches. We are experiencing a wonderful growth in our spiritual family as a result of his labor of love. He and his wife, Janet, are also passionate about getting young people to know and understand God's will and destiny for their lives. They inspire me and countless others to live lives that glorify God and reflect His standard of purity and holiness. They don't just talk the talk. They truly live it in their walk with God.

Why I Love My Pastor #207

A pastor is someone who leads and guides his church. A pastor is someone who is loving, understanding and full of passion for Christ.
That description is of my youth pastor, Mike. He is a pastor who is not afraid to proclaim Christ, not afraid to share the truth.
He has challenged me throughout the past year to be bold for Christ and to really know what I believe in. Pastor Mike has based everything he has taught in the Word of God, the infallible and trustworthy source. He is currently a student at the Master's Seminary. Every week he comes to church with a servant-like attitude. Many times I have seen him die to self. For example, when we went to our mission trip this past summer, he organized the entire thing. He put his whole heart into it making sure that we had everything prepared. One night he was working on his sermon until very late at night and only got a couple hours of sleep, yet he still made sure he prayed with our entire group in the morning. Even though he was so tired, he was worrying about us and how we were doing rather than focusing on himself. Pastor Mike is full of love. Many times during his sermons he will share the gospel at the end and share his heart. I have seen him get teary-eyed and emotional when sharing his love for us and his desire for us to grow closer to God and really get a glimpse of God's glory. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful youth pastor like Pastor Mike.

- Megan & the VBC Youth Group

Why I Love My Pastor #206

I like my pastor because in his time of family crisis, he acted as a man by owning up to his faults and seeking elderly counsel and restoration.
He is also very commited to the things of God.

Why I Love My Pastor # 205

I heard about this book on a local radio station. I just looked it up on the web and I was excited to see I could get it free for our Pastor. He has been a missionary for thirty years with Youth With A Mission so he is new to Pastoring. I thought how much sense this book meant just in the title alone. My family just came to this church about six months ago after eighteen years in another church. We were trying to find another church and we really liked this pastor's message and vision. We realized we had to just make a committment and get settled down instead of wasting so much time going into other churches to see if there was another, better suited for us. I haven't read this book but heard that one statement. This is what so many of us do. I'm not even sure this is what the book is about. But that was the message I got in the title so I want to read it and find out. Thank you.
Sherri

Why I Love My Pastor #204

Words cannot express my appreciation for my Pastor, Kim. His passion for God is so incredibly evident in his life and his Walk, that I cannot help but want to have that same, intimate relationship with my heavenly Father. He recently guided our church through a church merger, and endured all of the "issues" surrounding that. But His Walk with God was not tainted in the slightest. He is such an encouragement and a role model of a Godly man, that he effects everyone he is around. He is a wonderful husband, and what more, a wonderful father. My father. I love him so much and am blessed that he is my pastor, as well!
~Krista

Why I Love My Pastor # 203

I appreciate my pastor ultimately because he loves, preaches, and lives the Word of God. There are so many times I walk into his office to find him, as he calls it, 'having a time in the Word!" I hear him sharing some great truth with someone that he found during his personal quiet time, and then that same truth appears again on Sunday morning. I know that his messages are not "manufactured," but from a heart that has been earnestly seeking God. I am thankful for the balance of sound doctrine and down-hard application that comes from his preaching. But these things are not limited to Bible study and preaching - my pastor lives the Word of God. So often as he preaches, I inwardly nod my head and say, "yep, he lives that every day." Thank you, brother Pastor, for preaching the Word. I love you, Dad.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Why I Love My Pastor #202

My name is Mike and I really appreciate my pastor because he is a true man of God. He is real and up front with himself and his past. He is really moving in the things that God wants, he's not trying to Just please the congregation he is taking steps of faith for the things God has. He has a vision for his church and doesn't want to hog his people to himself but his goal is to send as many people out to the hurting as possible, for this I'm so glad to have Derek as my pastor!!
God BLESS that man!!

Why I Love My Pastor #200 1/2

Kees is a pastor who is downright normal. You usually know exactly know what his answer to your question will be, but never know why he would give that answer. When he explains something, he uses the bible and the Holy Spirit.
It's something alive in him, not just theoretical. I would like to thank him for all the challenges he has brought in my life. Sometimes hard, but usually he gets the best out of me. Thank you Kees.

Nick

Why I Love My Pastor #201

Both my husband and I have learned so much about living the Christian life and doing ministry from Michael. Him and his wife, Annie, have been a real inspiration and friends to both of us. He cares so much for all of us in the church and wants to see all of us fulfill the call of God on our lives. We love them both and are so grateful for the past 9 years of sowing into our lives. Thanks Michael and Annie.

-Ryan and Diana

Why I Love My Pastor #200

I appreciate my pastor because he is an excellent guitar player and also leads the worship team. I have not been going to church for the past 6 years but through God's wonderful gift of music, I am back in church worshipping the Lord. I am a musician and teacher of music here in Loudoun County, VA and I actually played percussion the first year for Passion '97 with Sam Perry in Austin, TX. Though I have seen my series of trials and lost my direction for music in Texas due to some unforeseen medical reasons, my Pastor keeps me strong and encouraged that the Lord has given me a talent for percussion. I want to also add, the Lord has given Pastor Hans a talent for flat pickin' and writing songs. Amen. Thank you for the book for Pastor Hans and God Bless.

Bob

Why I Love My Pastor #199

Duane has ministered to me through all cycles of my life. He was there to encourage me when I was down and keep me humble when I got the big head. God has used the life of this man in ways he will never know. Duane's loving influence and mentorship helped me recognize and pursue God's call on my life. I praise God for Duane and all he has sacrificed for the ministry.

Thomas

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Extreme Makeover for Two Books

We'll be putting stuff on the homepage in the months to come about this, but I thought I'd reward the two people reading this blog (that number includes me) by announcing that both "Boy Meets Girl" and "Not Even a Hint" are getting a facelift. Actually, if I could be a little more accurate with my cosmetic surgery terms here, "Boys Meets Girl" is actually getting the tummy-tuck, lipo, nose-job treatment...that is to say a full-upgrade. "Not Even a Hint" is just getting a little Botox though it is getting a title change, which is pretty extreme I guess.

Just like "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" we decided to do a 5-year edition and upgrade of "Boy Meets Girl". That means a new intro, new chapter and an update of the cover. Not a big deal, but I'm focusing the book more on the concept of courtship and how it's helpful. I like it better.

The story behind the changes to "Not Even a Hint" starts with Max Lucado (God bless him) putting out a book with the same "clear water" look that my book had. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt the cover was weak. It just didn't do anything. And then when I proposed that we change the cover, that led to talking about changing the title. I loved "Not Even a Hint" because it's straight from Eph. 5:3, but most people don't know that and it doesn't immediately mean anything to them. So the book is getting a new name and a new look. And you know, just to add suspense, I'm not going to tell you what the new title is. I know, that's really mean. Sorry.

The new versions of these two books will be out sometime this summer I think.

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