Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Message: 1 Peter 1:3-5

Great Day!

What a great day of worship we had on Sunday as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Easter Sunday is a day you go home from worship with joy in your heart. We had numerous guests with us and young lady gave her life to Christ. The worship service consisting of participants from Laleo, AWANA, and the adult choir did a great job of communicating the message of the death and resurrection of Christ. William Harrison, as always, took us to the throne of grace in worship. Thank you to all who made our Easter celebration a great success.

With Easter now behind us, we can continue to move forward as we seek God’s vision for us our church. This Sunday will be the third and final church summit. At this summit, you will receive the proposed mission and vision statements as the Re-visioning Team has compiled them. We will discuss the proposal as well as figure out how we will accomplish the vision. As great as a vision statement is in helping us to accomplish God’s will for our church, it is useless if we do not have a plan to accomplish it. The format will be very similar to the last two summits, as we discover the values we need to accomplish the vision as well as the best way to organize to get us to the end result. I look forward to having you with us this Sunday afternoon.

On a different note, I want to thank you. It was a year ago, April 25, that you called me to be your pastor. It is my joy to serve you and as I look back at the last year, I know God has used our union to do great things for his Kingdom. I look forward to the future and what God will accomplish through Eastern Heights for His glory. “To God be the glory, great things He has done!”

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Journey

Several years ago, Tara and I received a GPS as a Christmas gift from my parents. We quickly grew to love the benefit of always finding what we were looking for. We would type in an address and it was sure to get us where we needed to go and it even gave the time of when we would arrive at the destination. However, through the years things changed. Roads were moved and bridges replaced. A road that was two-way one day becomes a one-way road the next. Despite all the change, our GPS remained the same. We never updated the maps so when we hit the new areas many times the directions were wrong. We could usually find our way eventually but it made the journey more difficult. After a few years of this battle, we finally bought a new GPS that has all the up to date maps.

The journey in the life of a church is much the same way. Every few years we need to rethink our destination and check to see if the route we are taking needs to be updated. This last Sunday we continued this journey with Church Summit #2. We re-dreamed the dream. It was amazing to see how God has been speaking to us in similar ways. We had a great start in understanding the destination for the next 3-5 years. The Sunday evening after Easter, we will have Church Summit #3. This summit will help us understand how God wants us to get to that destination. When we update our destination and our journey we will be able to arrive at the exact place God desires for us. I pray that you join us in this journey of obedience.

He Had a Plan

Text is Matthew 4:23 - 5:2.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Church Summit #2

Church Summit #2

Through visiting with many who were here for Church Summit #1, I believe it was a great success. We learned so much invaluable information looking at where we have been as a church. We looked at the positive and negative significant events of our forty-year history. We had a great prayer time together praising God for what He has done through our church and we repented where we failed to live up to God’s standards. I can personally say I understand Eastern Heights better today than I did before the summit.

It is now time to move beyond the past and see how God wants to use us in the future. This Sunday, April 17 at 4:00, we will have Church Summit #2. God is not through with us yet! We will begin the journey of understanding what God is calling us to do and be. I hope that you will be here for this exciting journey. The end of this summit should provide us with a five-year vision and the values necessary to accomplish the vision. I truly believe that greater things are yet to come for us at Eastern Heights. God has placed us here for such a time as this. Let us make sure we do not miss what God is accomplishing in Bartlesville and the WORLD. See you Sunday at 4:00 in the chapel!

Daniel 12

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Destination of Surrender

The first year Tara and I went to Durango Mexico on a mission trip was quit an adventure. We took our brand new minivan that year as part of the caravan of church vehicles that made the twenty four hour drive. Driving in Mexico was an adrenaline rush all to its self. When we arrived in Durango, however, the real adventure began. We pulled up in front of a church where several church members greeted us. There were fifty or so of us from America and at least that many meeting us at the church with only one real interpreter present. It was getting dark and we were all exhausted and so ready for a good night’s sleep. The process of pairing us up with our host family became chaos. In the midst of the chaos our host was introduced to us and we were asked to give him the keys to our van since he could not communicate to us in English how to get to his home. My stress level was in the stratosphere as I handed over my keys. I knew this man was going to wreck my new van and I was certain that if we made it to his shack I would be sleeping in horrible conditions with roaches and mice.
Little did I know through all of this that God was teaching me a lesson of trust and surrender. I gave the man my keys and held on tight for the ride. After several minutes of driving he pulled up in front of a gate and honked the horn. All I could see was the old wall and gate in front of us when the lights came on. The instant the lights came on I felt like a fool. We were in front of a large, two story home, nicer than what I lived in back in Oklahoma. We were treated like royalty as we pointed to the corn flakes and milk to eat for supper.

Sunday afternoon we talked about the need for us as a church to surrender. There is something about our church that each one of us do not want to surrender to God. We must realize that when we surrender everything to God he may or may not take it from us. However, we must be willing for God to change it if He desires. Eastern Heights is about God, not us. When we trust God and surrender it all to Him the end destination will be much better than we ever dreamed.

God Provides

God provides in many different ways. I have been reading Ezra as part of my daily devotional time.     Ezra leads the people of Israel out o...