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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!!!!

This year I want to encourage you to "Let Go and Let God have His way! This song has ministered to me over these past few months and especially going into 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy New Year's

This will be my last post of the year. May God bless you and your family. Just so you'll know Tracy and I will be celebrating like this to bring in the new year.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday Thoughts - 12/21-08

Yesterday was a good day of worship. But the weekend itself was extremely busy and frustrating. Let's start with Saturday, I came into work since this is my last week before our two-week shut-down. This is an aerospace industry standard shutdown that doesn't affect our vacation time. Thank you, Lord.
I went to the church to start studying but forgot my flash drive at work. So, I went back to work got my flash drive and when I returned to the church musicians and singers starting showing up for rehearsal/sound check for benefit concert. It lasted all day! We arranged the stage to accomodate musicians, singers, and dancers. When sound check started for the singers they kept complaining that they could not hear through the monitors. I adjusted volume and everything I could think of. But, by this time it was getting late, I needed to study for Sunday, I was hungry, tired, and irritable. So, I shut down on everybody. We ended sound check and cleared the church and I went home. Needing to study and concerned about the monitors.
When I got home Tracy was watching Miracle on 34th Street. I don't like that movie so I made a smoked turkey sandwich and watched the Clippers game. They got spanked by like 30 something points. I don't remember because I fell asleep. The alarm went off at 4 am, I got up to go to the church for a smash study course. But when I got to the church everything was out of place from the rehearsal so I had to put it all back for our morning worship. Still no study time.
I had been meditating on Galatians 6:9 all week for Sunday. I'm trying to be very strategic during the preaching event. I don't want our church to think that we've made it and now it's relaxation time. No, it's time to get to work!
Here's the outline that the Lord gave me, honestly:
Topic: Payday Someday (This is not original, I stole it from Robert G Lee)
Text: Galatians 6:9
Thesis: Serving the Lord will payoff, Someday! But until then don't stop working for the Lord
1. The Worth of our Work - "Let us not become weary while doing good..."
Point: Working for the Lord is a privilege for us to enjoy!
- It's never-ending work - For every task completed, there's always another to follow
- It's hard work - Serving God is not always going to easy
- It's good work - Serving God is something you can be proud of
- It's lasting work - What we do today for the Lord will last a life-time
2. The Wealth from our Work - "for in due season we shall reap..."
Point: It's our responsibility to do the work and it's God's responsibility to supply the wealth.
- There's Temporal Wealth: God will bless us right here on earth
- There's Permanent Wealth: Ultimately, God will bless us when we get to heaven with "Well-Done"
(I had to argue the season of blessings in that we don't know the exact time of blessings, we just know that there on the way.)
3. The Wish for Our Work - "if we faint not"
Point: You can't give up now!
I don't want to sound like I'm Jesus Jr but the my Father in heaven gave me this message for yesterday. He's to be glorified.
My goal for the New Year is to do more delegating at the church and at work so I can devote more time to the study. I have a sermon preparation worsheet that use and over the next few weeks while off I'm going to prepare all my study material (commentaries, word studies, etc) so I can get a head start on next year's preaching schedule. Plus, I'll be getting some rest to refresh my mind to think clearly. Pray my strength in the Lord.
The afternoon service was outstanding except for a few technical difficulties with our sound system. There's a few adjustments that need to be made but for the most part, all is well! We have a few problems in our bathrooms with a small leak in the men's bathroom as well as a toilet in the women's bathroom that overflowed. But it's good, in a sense, because it can get corrected while contractor completes all other work. The rain is delaying work completion. Stupid rain.
All ministries that performed were excellent! Jesse Campbell can sing. This dude sung "Amazing Grace" with no music and killed it! I've never heard anyone sing that hymn song like that before in my life. The band was killing but too loud. The only instruments mic'd was key boards. People kept coming to the media room asking me to turn them down only to find out no one was going through the house. I let them control their own volume eventhough I did place a microphone in front of the amp as a decoy. I'm a musician and a singer and I know we like to hear ourselves and forget about everybody else.
After the service a few local pastors stood around waiting to talk to me about the church. A few guys prayed with me before the project as I was explaining to them what we wanted to do. So for them it was answered prayer. Another pastor Theo Wilkins as a group and he came this year for a project fund-raiser (I think in July) and was amazed that it came to pass so quickly and it's appearance. He knows what it looked before the renovation so he's really surprised.
Many of them had the same comment of being encouraged that small churches can dream big and get it accomplished. Praise God for that but we still have live to change for Christ. So our work is not complete.
The service went well and I'm glad it's over.
Count down: 2 days of work and I'm off for 2 weeks.
Be blessed, man down!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Challenging Day In the Word!

Here are additional pictures: Welcome Center

Welcome Center mural. "We commit to WORSHIP by rejoicing in the Lord in all things (Psalms 34-1-2)

Women's Bathroom

Men's Bathroom
We had a good but challenging worship service yesterday. It was cold in the building. The city has us handcuffed right now for inspection. They need to come out and inspect work before Edison can install new transformer for our 400 watt ampage. So, we could not run our central air and heating. Ugh!
Our real challenge was with the Word of God. Last week after our grand opening, I started asking God for direction in my preaching assignment for the next couple of weeks. It is my intention to get back our series "The Importance of Supporting the Local Church" at the beginning of the year. But, I wanted to say something that would encourage our church and ride the wave of excitement from our newly rennovated church. So, I prayed for direction.
I started going through my notebook that has all of my information for the project to formulate invoices for church records and our finance team to account for all dollars spent on the project. As I was going through my notebook, our project verse from Haggai 1:8 hit me dead in the face. The text says; Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the LORD.
When I selected this verse, I had no intentions on preaching it. I used it as a vision verse and communicated it in one on one conversations or whenever I got a chance but never consider preaching it from the pulpit. I read the verse and then I read both chapters of Haggai and said to the Lord; "Nope not this one!" I kept looking and praying for direction only to be directed right back to Haggai 1:8. After long, God and I started having the great debate about preaching this text.
My argument with God was that we didn't need to preach a text where He was fussing with the people about not rebuilding His temple. As far as I was concerned, we did rebuild and it's time to move forward. Long story short, we all know God won the debate.
His argument was "Remind the people that this is my church and it means a lot to Me!"

Text: Haggai 1:1-15
Topic: Let His Glory Fill This House
Thesis: God is paying close attention to how we treat His church, physically.
Transitional Sentence: This text serves as a forwarning to not let this church get to like it was before.
There are three (3) requirements for insuring God's presence remains in this house:
1. God's glory will fill this when we MASTER MAINTAINING RIGHT PRIORITIES - v. 1-4
Point : Put God first in everything that we do!
2. God's Glory will fill this house when we MONITOR OUR OWN BEHAVIOR PATTERNS - v. 5-11 - ("Consider your ways!")
- Considering your ways must be PERSONAL - You have to acknowledge when you've wronged God by making Him second place. v. 5
- To not consider your ways is counter-PRODUCTIVE (v. 6) - In summary, the text says there is a whole lot of motion but no progress
- Considering your ways must be PUBLIC - You will be held accountable by God for everything you do. v. 6
3. God's glory will fill this house when we MAGNIFY GOD WITH OUR OBEDIENCE - v. 12-15
Point: Obeying God is doing what He says even when you don't have all the details
- Obey the Word of God - v. 12-13
- Obey God by doing what His Word says - v. 14-15
Close: God's glory will fill this house because His promise is true when He says: "I am with you" (v. 13)
I trust God knows what He's doing because I felt like I was fussing at the church.
A former member came to our morning worship service who used to be our sound tech. He lives in Lancaster now and says the drive is too long for him to make it each week. He loved the new appearance of the church and who knows what will come of it in the future.
After service, our women's ministry had their Christmas luncheon at Sizzlers. Tracy, who is our ministry leader, came home extremely excited about the fellowship and was very encouraged. This coming year I'm spending more time with our women's ministry and men's ministry teaching them our two-fold purpose. First, win the lost through relationship building and second, mentor each other through genuine fellowship and the Word.
I went home to rest! I have not fully recoved from all the work we did getting ready for our grand opening and returning to work so quickly. So, I went to Church's Chicken for some legs, thighs, and fried okra. Tried to watch "Tropic Thunder" but before long the movie was watching me.
I wanted to go to George Hurtt's installation but was extremely exhausted so I decided to stay home and rest because this is my last week of work before we shut down for the rest of the year. It's going to be long hours and a stressful week.
This Sunday, we will have a Christmas Benefit concert with Jesse Campbell and other gospel artists giving by CGMUZIC Productions. It's a toy drive to provide presents for needy families this holiday season. Please pray for those who will minister during this time.
Until next time, MAN DOWN!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our New Sanctuary

For whatever reason these pictures came out extremely yellow and I can't work picture format too good. But this is our new sanctuary!
Our first service yesterday was rather emotional for me. I think I overworked myself last week trying hold in my emotions as things were coming together. I did a pretty good until our slide presentation and then I went into our bathroom after it started playing and let everything I could out before going back into the sanctuary to preach. I had one prayer befor preaching yesterday, "Lord, hold me up to preach!"
I preached 1 Thessalonians 5:24 "He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it."
Topic: Faithful is Our God
Thesis: God can be trusted!
Here are three (3) why we can trust God:
1. He's faithful to His Person
The faithful of God is evident in the three (3) tenses of life:
A. God has been Faithful
B. God is faithful
c. God will be faithful
2. He's faithful to His People
-God will keep you when you can't keep yourself.
- God will finish what He started in you
3. He's faithful to His Promises - "He will do it!"
God never makes promises he can't keep.

The Lord answer my prayer to hold me up and let me preach. Wow, what a first service! Pastor Robert Calvary from Praise Chapel Church lead us in a powerful prayer moment that we so needed as a church. My, my, my!
After our morning worship we had a reception and viewing period. And I extended myself for moment of what I called "A Tour With the Pastor". I did this to share vision people who visited that did not have a church home and/or was unsaved. Pastor Payne and Full Gospel church came by yesterday before going to another service. Some old members of FGMBC came by and was amazed at the outcome of the renovation. Truth be told I'm still amazed.
The afternoon service was a little long but great. Many of the members were tired because they worked from sun up to sun down Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I am so grateful! Tracy and the kids (moreso Tracy) will gave 150% to help make sure everything went well. I owe her a night on the town. Carmen and the crew, GMWA Youth Choir, Comedian Bishop Billy Bob, Sister Nadine, and others did a wonderful job minister in song and laughter. My favorite choir is GMWA Youth Choir these young people can sang!
We had our service video taped and will make it available for a small donation after editing.
I need to get back to work, MAN DOWN!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I haven't forgotten!!!

Please be patient with me this week. I do plan to post pictures and a powerpoint presentation that will be seen this weekend but this week has been extremely busy for me. There is so much to do I can't even list them all.

However, I'll say that God has placed a sermon to preach, 1 Thessalonians 5:24.

Sound system is 75% installed and it sounds so good to have an upgrade. The underground work for electrical was completed today. The next 2 days is going to be extremely busy as well as time consuming with sermon preparation which is my first priority. I don't get a chance (due to work) to spend a week preparing to preach so I'm trying my best to take advantage of it.

We're preparing gifts for first time visitors and a "Stay Connected Card" for our Greeters Ministry to pass out on Sunday to formulate a prospect list.

Unfortunately, this project has falling on my shoulders totally to see it through to completion. I may not get a chance to post pictures until Monday and even that's questionable because I go back to work and have to train a new person cause my boss is having surgey at the beginning of 2009. But I will do my best to post as soon as possible. You all have enjoyed the ride with me from the beginning and I appreciate it greatly so you deserve to see the finished product.

Please pray my strength in the Lord this weekend! I love and appreciate each of my blogging friends.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Week Of Preparation!


I can't believe that we're getting ready for our Grand opening this coming Sunday.

Before I get to the week let me recap:

Thanksgiving was good for me and my family. We went to my Auntie's house in Palmdale, Ca which is about 70 miles away from our house. We always have a good time hanging out with each other and Thanksgiving day was no different. We ate, played dominoes, and ate some more. It sure was good! We did not have service as normal because of rain. To power our little house, we have to run extension cords across our parking lot until electrical underground work is completed. That would be dangerous to have service and it rained and then we all be would shocked by electricity. So, I canceled service.

Friday, Myles and I went to the church to start setting up our media room. Representatives from CZMUZIC came by to see our church setup and we started talking about the process and just about had church in the process. They were really impressed with our setup and I'm looking forward to the Christmas Benefit Concert on December 21st. This is my way of giving back to the community as an expression of what God has done for fGMBC. Afterwards, my friend Pastor Payne came by and we started talking and Myles was having a fit because he was ready to go home. But it was good fellowship of which I need so much more of.

Saturday, the family and I along with my grandson little Jimmy hung out all day. All I heard from lil Jimmy is "MaMA (Tracy), PaPa did it!" I do everything when it comes to him but he can't seem to leave me alone. But I love the little white boy.

Sunday was a real good day of worship, WOW! My auntie Rochelle Dean came to church at 8:30 am in the morning. She's an answer to prayer that I will keep on praying for until she confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior. I preached Psalms 66 "Make His Praise Glorious". What a message! Listening to it again gave me chills.

Sunday afternoon, Tracy and I went to Bishop Kenneth Wells' B-Day party. I met Kenny (that's what I call him) some 20 years ago when I started playing the drums and singing for Riverside Mass Choir of which he was the founder. The reunion choir ministered but I could not make any of the rehearsals and I wanted to. The highlight of the service was hearing the legendary Daryl Coley. This man, even in his sickness, is bad with the vocals. He sung "Even Me Lord" with no musician, and no microphone and killed everything in there. Please keep him in your prayers. He's doing better but still has a long way to go.

After the service, Tracy and I went to eat. That was some time well needed for us as a couple. It was good hanging out with her all afternoon. I kinda love her, LOL!

But, then Monday came! I rented a truck to pickup our church chairs and Pastor Payne went with me. This took all day! Bertollini loaded the truck and pastor Payne and myself unloaded the truck. We finally got help about an hour into unloading but it was still hardwork. I could not get all 500 chairs on the first trip so I had to go back for a second trip. I arrived at the warehouse at 7 am (Tuesday morning or today if you're reading this blog) and the truck was loaded within an hour. One problem, the truck was half full and they did not strap chairs in. So when I went to pickup office furnishings and opened the back of the truck all the chairs fell down. I had to position all chairs in an upright position before I could load office furnishings. Frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we got to the church, Tracy was there painting our mission statement on the wall and before long tears came down her eyes with joy. People just don't know what this means to life our church to have such a huge project like this come to pass. Words cannot even express the feelings I and many of our members feel as well. God Is So Amazing!

Long story short, all furnishings has been delivered, sound system is being installed, underground work for electrical upgrade is in the process, and yet, we still have much to do. But praise God it' almost over.

I'm struggling with what to preach this coming Sunday. Galatians 6:9 "Don't Quit Yet" and 1 Thessalonians 5:20 (He who calls you is faithful and He will do it.) "Faithful is Our God". I'm praying for direction.

Yesterday, I played in a championship basketball game with a league I play in on Mondays. We lost because the game was called due to an argument with the ref. I must admit, I was one of those in the argument. I'm a physical player but can't stand when someone 6' 10" complains about a foul when he fouled out long ago with fouls committed pasted the alotted 5. I actually played in 2 games last night and lost both. It was a bad night in the win category. I had fun none the less but my competitive spirit gets the best of me sometimes. I felt the pain in my ankles and knees this morning.

We're preparing for our grand opening this coming Sunday, so if you don't hear from me that's why. But know that I am praying for you and please keep praying for me.