Friday, December 14, 2007

It's the most stressful time of the year, but it dont have to be!

I wonder sometimes if people who lived 200 years ago, ever dreamed that the Christmas season would ever be this busy and jam packed? In the last couple weeks I have been trying to get some Christmas shopping accomplished, and it has turned out to be more of a life or death mission getting in and out of malls and parking spaces, than shopping and enjoyment. People act as if they lose all sense of awareness and go temporarily insane. If we would just slow down and remember that when we are in a rush, that we are not being Christlike, instead we are being more like "ourselves". Even during the holidays, we should reflect Christ and His example, after all, it is His birthday that we are celebrating.

The Creek
Things at Hawk Creek are really exciting now as much as ever! With almost 500 attending on a weekly basis, every parking space is full, and the children's ministry to capacity God is showing off even still! There have been many saved over the last several weeks and several new members! Lives are still being changed in Celebrate Recovery and new ministry opportunities are presenting themselves on a weekly basis. If you are reading this, let me ask you to pray as we begin construction on our new facility located on HWY 80. This is a major undertaking and will require God's hand and blessing throughout the entire process. I am thankful that He has been in the forefront of all that we have been involved in so far. May we always remember that ministry is about Connecting to God, Serving People, loving both and Promoting Jesus!

Monday, November 12, 2007

New is not always good

First let me update you on the creek! Yesterday was absolutely amazing. With 4 salvations, 8 joining the church and several re-dedications, God's presence was definitely in the house. The congregation was singing loud and giving God everything during worship, and the message was very anointed, giving each person the truth in love from the Bible. So here we are, another election over with in Kentucky, and a new governor has been elected. The people of the commonwealth has chosen a man who stands for expanded gambling, and refuses to take a stand on the ten commandments. So is this new governor a good thing? We read of new buildings going up, new businesses being starts, new people taking positions, but what makes new things bad things? I believe the answer lies in if the subject in question glorifies God or not should determine the answer. In life we can come up with so many reasons to put out the old of anything and bring in the new, but if the new is not needed and is not used to glorify God then why not stick with the old.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Celebrating Recovery

Last night at the creek, we celebrated the power that God has to set people free from their hurts, hang-ups and habits. The Celebrate Recovery ministry (CR) had an open house of sorts for people to come and see the many examples of changed lives, who I like to call trophys of God's grace. Like our pastor preached on Sunday, these lives, changed lives are some beautiful decorations of God's power and mercy in our church. The scene last night was so electric, as people from all walks of life poured into the creek. People who were hurt, confused, changed and all kinds of backgrounds came together to celebrate the Lord! With 4 20 lb turkeys, and all the trimmings, we ate a delicious meal, which by the way took several people to prepare. There were people who came early just to help the band and media dept set up. People came just to greet those who came. People came to help usher, and clean up. There were around 200 individuals that came, and it was amazing. People came to CONNECT to God, RELATE to people, SERVE both, and PROMTE Jesus. People came to CELEBRATE RECOVERY!

Monday, October 22, 2007

No pain No Gain

These words equating gain due to some kind of major discomfort are sometimes very accurate, but not in the worlds version. The world uses this statement to describe working out in the gym and gaining muscles. I remember running with a buddy of mine in high school that tried to encourage me when I complained (after less than 1/2 a mile) that my stomach and side was hurting by saying, "it just burns because it is helping. Keep running and it will stop." In my mind I thought "yeah right, when I fall over from a heart attack." But the principle of was right! My side was hurting because I was out of shape and my body was adjusting and becoming more healthy. Sometimes in our spiritual lives, things hurt and bring us much pain, but those are the things that the bible tells us produce perseverance, and perseverance helps strengthen our faith! This past week I have counseled with several people facing many types of problems and pain ranging from death to financial loss and other personal problems. In all of these situations, I know that God will use them for His good to strengthen character, integrity, ministry, love, and many other characteristics in each persons life. In my life, God has been using even the stories and problems of others to teach me many things and I am thankful. I have hurt this week for the one who lost a loved one, I have been concerned with the one who is having a hard time with finances. Sometimes I take other peoples problems to heart and make each one a personal concern. The one thing God has spoken to my heart is without the test, God can not build a testimony. The pain comes, but after the pain, you gain those things which shape us more and more into the image of Christ! No pain No Gain? You bet, and I am thankful even as I look back at the trials God has brought me through. And though I know I will face many more tough days, it is good to know that I am being made to be more like Jesus! Ultimately because of His pain, we gained everlasting life, through Jesus!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The buzz

October has been a very busy month and November promises to be another month to be remembered! God has continued to bless things at the creek in almost every ministry. The children's ministry is running over 100 and many of those are new faces who have given their hearts to Christ. The student ministry is ever expanding and the church as a whole is seeing many peoples lives changed by the power of God. It is something awesome to be known as a church that is on fire, exploding, vibrant and unique. As I write this, I think back on today when I met about 5 different people all over our region who upon finding out that I was at the creek, proceeded to tell me all of the great things they hear about the church. It is so great to know that God is using us in such an awesome way, but with all of those blessings come lots of responsibility. My prayer is that we will be faithful to always give God credit, love people unconditionally, preach the gospel, be humble, and lift Jesus so high that nothing we do will shift the glory from Him to us. The buzz is that the creek is doing some amazing things, and it is all because of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Theres a New Day Coming!

I just wanted to ask all who read this blog to be in prayer for the creek in upcoming days! It is so exciting to see what God is doing around here, but I believe that a new time of blessing is upon us, and with more blessing comes more responsibility. Thank God that He is using our church to do such a work in our town and region! I am humbled as I think of the great responsibility that God trusts us with, not only at the creek but also other churches who name the name of Christ. May we never get distracted by comments, current events or an other flash bomb that Satan puts in our path, but may our eyes stay focused on the one who has called us to serve Him!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Why you do what you do

Have you ever thought about why you so what you do? Why do you go to certain stores and not others? Why do you write with your left hand? Why do you speak with an accent? There are several things in life that we ask why, but what about our christian life? Why do we treat others with respect? Why do we chose to be honest on our income tax? Why do we tell others about the one person who can change their life? Do we do these things because we are trying to be "good" or because it is what is expected of us? Is it because we have been trained to be a christian? Do we function out of tradition? Only each individual can answer those questions, but let me give this challenge. If we do what we do to attract others, please people, or out of habit, then the heart of obedience that God so much desires will not be the drive behind the action. I am so thankful that at the church I serve, we do not sing the songs we sing to attract people or to coerce them into being faithful to church, but we sing to worship the Lord and lift worship to Him. We don't have activities for children to out-do any other church in the area, but to serve children a sweet plate of the gospel and share the good news with them. The next time you share your faith or even go to church, ask yourself...why? I pray it is not the product of years steeped in tradition but rather a heart that longs to serve Jesus Christ and serve others! "Jesus answered "the greatest commandment is this; love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself"-Jesus

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Man With A Mission

Speaking of a mission God has given us a big one! The Whole World!!! It is a big mission but HE is a BIG God, and he has given those of us at "the creek" the vision to accomplish the mission. Today was another great day at HCBC. With 4 baptisms, 2 salivations and 3 coming to be a part of the creek family. The morning service was awesome with almost 400 people in attendance, but the the evening service rolled around with close to 300. WOW It is so awesome to see a people that loves God enough to come back and fill His house up on a Sunday night! Not only did they come but they worshiped God with everything it seemed that was inside of them. As I close this day, I am so thankful that God has placed me and Mel at HCBC and given us a mission, a vision, and the passion to see it come to pass. Jesus was the man with the mission, and HE has passed it on to us, not just at Hawk Creek, but to every church that names the name of Christ! That means the churches in London, Corbin, Lexington, Knoxville and America have been given the same mission and it should be the man who gave us the mission that guides us and stirs us to go farther, worship harder, tell more people and do anything that it takes to see that Mission accomplished

Friday, September 21, 2007

The plan

This has definitely been a long week! Please don't think that I am complaining, but just giving you a fact. God has reminded me of an important lesson this week in the midst of the hustle and activity. He is still in control and has a good reason for what He does. This week began with a swift trip to Frankfort, then several awesome ministries to work on. After an awesome service at the creek Sunday with 8 saved, four baptized and many re dedications, that kind of start to the week meant no rest, but God still had a plan. On Wednesday I left for a conference, then back a day early to take care of some business back home. Again, rushed but still reminded that God has a plan. In life we need to remember to go with the flow, and trust God, not become so ticked off or "frazzled" that we lose sight of who is in control. What was the reason or the plan God had this whirlwind week? I am still not sure but I know this because His word is clear....God has a plan!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

God provides but when?

We hear all of the time that "God provides", He will meet your needs", but what do we do when He doesn't do what we want, when we want, how we want? What we do and what we should do are two different things. The thing we usually do is whine, blame, and come up with a plan of how to take care of ourselves. What we should do is take God at His word, trust Him and ask what the next step that He wants us to take. In Isaiah God's word tells us that God's ways or plan is higher or better than our plan. But sometimes we think our plan is better and should be the way to God because God took too long. Even in my own life I find myself at times wanting to go a different direction at times because I feel as though God has taken more time than I would have. I am so thankful that God loves us even when we do take a different direction and loves us enough to show us where we went wrong and helps place us back in the right direction. Time and time again, God reminds us as the song says, "He's an on time God, Yes He Is!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

And He keeps going and going and going and going...

God continues to bless at The Creek! This Sunday was definitely a God thing! With 2 saved and 6 people joining the church, it was definitely refreshing and a blessing. Each week we talk about what a blessing to be a part of a church family that is so alive, but do we really think about what being alive means? Of course, it is the opposite of dead, deceased or as the KJV would state it, asleep. Being alive is not just a statement for the atmosphere of a church, but for those of us who are saved, it means life and substance! Thank God that His son, Jesus Christ has made us alive in our soul and given us life that is full! Being a part of "The Creek", has taught me that Jesus makes us alive in Christ, and the Holy Spirit has made our church a place filled with life! What a thought that we can live life to the fullest by giving God our best Monday-Sat, but also coming together as a family on Sunday to worship Him in an atmosphere that is lively! I wonder sometimes how people could criticize a church that claps, crys', shouts, raises their hands, wins people to Christ, reaches out into the community, and sometimes does things "out of the box". Then I realize, they criticized Jesus for doing things differently, so why not follow His example. Let me close with this. If the method you use is reaching people, centered around Christ, and is something that can only be accomplished if God does it, then you might find yourself in the center of God's will. Just be obedient, stay faithful and love God by loving people and giving them something that they need, the life changing gospel!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The throat and the heart!

Have you ever had a time that you lost your voice completely? I am talking, no sound comes out no matter how hard you try? Sunday night, right in the middle of worship, my voice went completely out! I tried to keep a smile on my face, while inside I was screaming to the top of my lungs, GOD HELP! I'm my mind I thought, "Lord, how can I praise you if my voice is gone? But then, at that moment God reminded me once again, that it is the heart and the attitude in which I worship that is pleasing not my feeble attempt to make a noise. Even when we cant make a sound, or even know what to say, God knows the heart and is touched by the overflow of love, praise and adoration that can come from our lives! Today, there was definitely plenty of things to praise God for. A couple folks were saved, at least 10 re-commitments, a couple joined and about 350 people in the AM service with about 270 in the evening service! God is definitely doing something that only He can take credit for, but something that we can definitely raise the praise for!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The End Of Summer is just the begining!

Summer temperatures have been very hot! Over 100 degrees for several days. But cooler days are coming, according to the weather lady. Even though things are cooling down outside, they are heating up at the creek! I am amazed at how God blesses a church once they become obedient to Him and Him alone. I am thankful for the holy spirit that He gives us to refresh us and remind us of His unfailing live. And I am in suspense of what God is going to do next. In the bible, God used people throughout history who were normal, cracked vessels, but yet they were obedient. In our personal lives, I believe that God would do so much more if we would be obedient and just go where He leads and not where we meander off to. He tells us in Psalm that He leads beside still waters. This scripture does not say that he stands by the water and watches us walk by ourselves but it implies that God, through His spirit, leads us into places that we can rest, regroup and get back into the fight for the gospel! I believe that God is finished leading us beside the still waters for now, but praise God, He is still leading and it will be into the greatest days our church and congregation has ever seen!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The future looks bright!

When Jesus told us to be the light of the world, I don't believe that it was to be a dim light, or even a candle that has burned so far into the wax that you cant tell if it is even lit. I do believe that he wants us to be a light that is so bright that it causes darkness to leave completely! At the Creek, God's light is shining like a spotlight and the focus is completely on Jesus! Some get caught up in talking about other churches, pastors, people and problems and all that does is showcase the problems. At HCBC, we spotlight Jesus! His life, His sacrifice, His kingdom and His priorities. It is all about Him, and nothing about us. The future looks bright too. As long as the light of Christ is what we shine and not our own, then the sky will be the limit for God's people at the Creek. With the light of Christ I can see, thousands coming to know Christ as Lord and Savior. I can see drug addicts, drug abusers and others with hurts, hang ups and habits, set free from their addictions and chains. I can see Missionaries in countries all over the globe sent out from Hawk Creek! I can see pre-schoolers, children, students, college students, singles, young families, and senior adults serving Christ together!!! Could a food and clothing ministry exist in the Creek's future? Could a Homeless shelter be in the outlook of our congregation? Could God use HCBC to begin a Christian School or Ministry training center? Is it possible that so many lost people could be saved through the ministry of HCBC that we are going to be out of space in the new building before it is even built? I do not know what the future holds, but I know that with the Light Of The World still shining, that our future is BRIGHT!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hawk Creek Has A Home

How awesome to see the hand of God, still moving in a mighty way! Today we had a wonderful attendance, and also baptized 4 people and had 6 join the church. The exciting part to these new members is 3 of them did not join until we had met after church on the new property to celebrate. Oh yeah, God has given a wonderful piece of property on the main road. Our church voted to purchase 20 acres so that we can expand our outreach to our community. With this awesome tool, we should be able to reach over 1000 people with the gospel of Jesus Christ! Will there be outside opposition? Yes! Will there people who think we are crazy? Absolutely! Will we continue to follow the Lord in spite of these obstacles? With all that is within us! As we await the future, we look forward to other things that God is going to do. We are not watching to see God build a building, but to build His kingdom and accomplish His will! I honestly believe that there will be more wonderful services, more lost people coming to Christ. More alcoholics becoming sober. More marriages put back together. Praise the Lord for HCBC's new home and for His mercy and blessing on us!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Never too old to be a camper!

It has been a great week. I had the opportunity for the 9th year to lead worship at Camp Jubilee in Tennessee. There were over 100 students there and over 20 saved! How awesome to see lives changed. I had a pretty busy schedule on Friday so I came home late Thursday night in order to get a jump start on it. We ended our VBS at The Creek by having a worship service for the parents and community Friday night. There were 3 saved, one of those being a parent of one of the kids. We also baptized 17 during the service making a total of 41 this month alone. It has been a great month and I am looking forward to the months to come. There are more lost parents, more lost children, more un-churched and more people that need the love of Christ. In fact, there are enough people that if ever church would be passionate about sharing the gospel, our sanctuaries and worship centers would not contain the numbers, but heaven would definitely have space for them and more!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Family, Fun and Faithfulness

Melissa and I had an opportunity to go and spend some time with my immediate family and wish my grandmother a Happy Birthday! During dinner we sat and talked about the past and old family stories, from old traditions to new stories of times not so long ago. What an awesome thing to listen and see the thread that ties my family together, a thread of faithfulness. Faithfulness to God, each other and morals and values. It reminds me of passage in Hebrews that talks about the "Hall Of Faith", being surrounded by a "great cloud of witnesses". My prayer is that Melissa and I will continue to pass that on to future generations of family, having fun, while remaining faithful!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Go team go!

Envision Update (Building): No word today, but things still look good. Pray that God will grant favor to HCBC, and continue to guide leadership as decisions are made.

Alright, so what team do you cheer for? For me, of course I cheer for Kentucky Wildcats, and various hometown teams. But what about in the church world? First of all what would you consider a team in the wide world of faith? Would you consider your church in itself as a team? What about your denomination? Would pitting one student ministry against another be categorized as teams? I believe that God has placed all of us who name the name of Christ to be on the same team, and further more, do whatever it takes to make sure the gospel reaches the most desolate places on earth. It breaks my heart when I hear of one church degrading and trying to undermine another gospel preaching church. Yet more and more it seems that congregations all around the country become distraught when another fellowship begins to gain "points" or pull ahead in "the game". This is not at all what Jesus had in mind when he told us to "Love the brethren" or to "serve one another". My prayer is not that Hawk Creek become the "best team" or the biggest church, but it is that our vision and heartbeat remains the heart beat of Jesus, to reach the world with the gospel! If we will do that, then our lifestyle of worship will be consistent with the great commission! To borrow a phrase from Ronnie Floyd, "It is more important to remember who you are in the kingdom, that what you do".

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's not about an opinion but about integrity!

In life, we sometimes have opinions about things that matter, other issues are not that important. There are some matters that demand not just an opinion, but a decision, and the decision that is made, will reveal the integrity that we hold. In many of our churches today we have a large number of opinions popping up, some over music, some over style, others are still trying to decide what color the carpet should be in the sanctuary. It has been my observation that too many times we decide to take issue over difference of opinion when dealing with small things and substitute opinion, sometimes mistaking it for conviction over issues that should be forefront. For example, I recently had the opportunity to be a part of an event in which I led worship for a diverse congregation of several denominations. The speaker that night was of a different denomination than I, and that is something that I think should be celebrated as unity in diversity. However, when the speaker began to share something that he stated was "what the bible says", I was prompted to find the scripture that he was referencing. The so called scripture did not exist, nor does the bible give reference to this so called "scriptural truth" that the speaker was adament about. The speaker continued on by giving the congregation a perscibed ritual of how to obtain this scriptural truth. Now, please do not think that I want all christians and people I worship with to be Baptist, or to worship in the same manor as I, but actual scripture should be used, not just opinions. Some denominations intepret different scriptures in different ways, and that is understandable, but that was not the case in this instance. By standing on the same platform as this speaker, I felt as though my integrity was in question, that others felt I went along with him. When somebody declares "Thus says the Lord", the Word of God should back him up, and the Spirit of God should confirm it in your heart. If scripture does not support the teaching, then my friend, the speaker has no integrity, authority or place to preach, and should be labeled a false prophet. In love, Gods people from Pentecostal to Presbyterian, from Baptist to Apostolic, should preach the Gospel loudly, without reserve and to the world without personal agenda or doctrine. Praise God for diversity, and for giving me friends of other denominations who preach the truth, and love people enough to have a kingdom mindset! It's not about spiritual gifts and if you believe in them enough. It's not about how much of the bible you know. It's not about taking comunion every weeks or once a quarter, but it is about Jesus and by always preaching Jesus, our integrity will speak much more loudly than our opinion.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A New Home for Hawk Creek

It seems that God has been up to something for a couple years, and we are now feeling the downpour of His blessing. We recently received a call about a building that was origionaly built for industrial use, with 65,000 sq ft of empty space. What kind of awesome things could God do there? The possibilities are limitless. We have seen the hand of God move in a mighty way even in the small place that we are currently. I am so greatful that God uses the small things to do some enormous works. I will try to keep everyone up to date as information becomes available!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer Is Here

With summer in full swing, that means alot of extra time for some, and less for others. The temperature of our worship should always be hot, no matter what the temperature outside. At Hawk Creek, God is definitely keeping the fire hot. People are coming from all over to serve God, and some to give thier hearts and lives to Christ! What a time to give praise to God! We have several awesome ministry opportunities coming up. Mission trips to Bosnia, Argentina, and Las Vegas. GROW outreach ministry to reach the 13,000 people within a 4mile radius. The student ministry that reached students from 4 schools, and a childrens ministry that has overflowed its banks! Oh Lord, keep it coming!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Touchdown at HCBC

Sundays services were so amazing! Two were saved and 4 joined the church! We baptized 2 Sunday night and that was another wonderful time of worship. Even though worship happens on an individual and personal level most times, it is great to come together for corporate worship and celebrate together what God is doing in the lives of his people, and the resurection of Jesus! Are you celebrating anything when you go to church? I hope so! My prayer is that your worshipservices are not boring but full of life, after all, Jesus came so that we could have life and have it to the full!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Super Bowl Blitz

Seems like everybody is getting ready for the Super Bowl. I go to Wal-Mart, and there are signs everywhere. Go to the grocery store, and even Coca Cola, and that other drink have arranged their displays in the shape of football fields. Even people who don't like athletics are getting into the action, buying t-shirts of teams they have no idea about. I am excited about another opportunity to share Christ, at the Super Bowl Blitz! That's right, February 4th, Hawk Creek Church will rent the entire bowling alley in London, to give students in the area to bowl for free while watching the Super Bowl on a wall screen TV. We will also give away I-Pods, PS2, DVD, Cd's and other cool stuff. Why would a church spend money on such an event? Because we want to impact the culture for Jesus, and by doing so loving people. Loving them to the point that they see something in us that they want, that is the light of Christ. We want to be the salt of the earth not just a tasteless good for nothing substance. What better way to worship the Lord, than by serving Him through serving others. I am excited to see what the Lord does through this event, this might turn out to be a SUPER SIZED GOD THING!

Monday, January 15, 2007

What a Wonderful Day at Church

In todays time, alot of people find church boring. Some even refer to it as a "cold" place to be. I am thankful that is not the case for the place God has planted my wife and I. Yesterday was so wonderful. God began moving, even before the formal time that the worship service started. A guy from our singles ministry felt that God was dealing with his heart to be saved. He said that he had prayed a prayer when he was young but had no idea what he was doing. All of these years, going to church, praying, etc, he said was nothing more than acting out what he had been taught. He nailed it down and settled it Sunday morning at about 10:35am. God began to move in a great way during the music and worship with people just loving the Lord through music and giving Him praise for who He is. The sermon was anointed by God, from Matthew talking about being the salt of the earth. What a thought that God wanted us to be the driving force that preserved, protects among other things. The Lord is asking us to stand firm and change the world for the good! We should be willing to refuse to leave the city, county, state and nation the way we found it. During invitation a middle aged gentleman gave his heart to the Lord. The alter had several other folks who was doing business with God. What a great time of celebration, I know I am thankful to be part of a church that celebrates life on a weekly basis. Not just life that he gives us if we ask, but his own life that was raised from the dead so that we could live forever!

A New Covenant or Just Convienience?

I was recently reading that former leaders of our country have decided that it is time that a new Baptist denomination is formed. One that would promote more open mindedness as well as become more sympathetic to the environment. The basis for their argument was to state that the Southern Baptist Convention was not helpful enough when it came to disasters that affected individuals nor tolerant enough of homosexuals and abortion rights advocates. Let me say that I am a Southern Baptist, but my views on social issues are not dictated by my denomination but by my conviction that the Word of God is my moral compass. This fact is not so for those at the helm of this "New Baptist Covenant". They have taken the Word of God and tried to make it the word of man. Letting minority opinion and political gain be the guide used to build a base. When denominations sidestep the Bible, then they are in no way a Christian, Evangelical or God fearing denomination. I pray for those that are teetering on the line of decision to join the new Covenant, that they will weigh the scripture against the vision of this new movement. Where are the plans to reach people around the world with not just clean drinking water but living water? I challenge each of you to read the Bible, and stand firm in your convictions no matter what winds of change blow.