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A Night of Worship

December 7, 2011 — Leave a comment


Tonight at Cornerstone, we will be having a special Night of Worship. On the First Wednesday of every month, we have a special service. A few months ago, we switched our format around and started doing things a little differently. When we started First Wednesdays, we had a meal before, then went into our service with music, updates, teaching, ministry group meetings, and a time of communion. We always felt rushed because we were doing too many things, so we decided to simplify.

Now, each month we have a different focus. We have one month focused on leadership and discipleship, followed by a fellowship meal with church updates and vision sharing the next month, and then we have a night of worship.  By switching the focus of the meeting each month, we are able to do a better job communicating and a better job celebrating what God is doing at Cornerstone.

Tonight is our first Night of Worship celebration. We’ll be starting at 7pm, and we plan on arriving early and staying late to enjoy our time together.  We’re asking everyone to bring some snack food if you are able, and we’ll provide coffee and drinks. We also plan on recording the worship for use on an upcoming Cornerstone Live Worship CD.

We hope you can join us tonight at our church in downtown Galax for this special service. We have so many talented musicians at Cornerstone, and we are truly blessed to be able to worship each and every week with passion and excellence.

Invite your friends and join us!


Here’s a quick way to build up your library of sermon illustration videos. Check out the Christmas special from WorshipHouse Media. They are offering twelve free videos, so you’ll have to check their site to find out which days they are available. WorshipHouse Media is one of the more popular online stores for videos, so be sure to see what they are offering.

Skype and Mission Work

November 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

This week is a new experience for me. While I’m at home with our two boys, ages 7 and 11, my wife and 13 year old daughter are on a mission trip in Nicaragua. This is such a great opportunity for both of them. I’ve been two times over the past two years, but I wanted them to experience it first hand. I’m busy doing my Mr. Mom impersonation doing laundry, cooking and cleaning, and being a homeschool teacher for our boys, and my girls are over 1500 miles away serving in remote Nicaraguan villages. But even though they are far away, I get to experience a little of what is going on each day and even hear their voices through technology.

They are posting pictures on Facebook, sharing updates through the Because We Care Ministries website, and calling home using Skype. We gathered around our computer and just chatted tonight about everything they are experiencing. And the amazing thing is that it’s completely free when you call skype to skype.  We both have skype installed on our phones, I have it on my laptop, and I even have it on my iPad. They are in a small town in Nicaragua with a slow internet connection, and yet we can just talk back and forth like a normal phone call.

We live in amazing times, and the world is getting much smaller. We simply cannot overlook the Great Commission. We have no excuses. 

 

I stumbled on this web service and I think it has a lot of promise for churches and youth ministries. The next time you are working on a video intro for a sermon series or a quick youtube video, check out Flixpress.com.  This would also work for short photo galleries or digital signage. You can upload your text and images, and they will incorporate them into cool 3D animations. The cost is under $5, and you get really good looking results.  Check out the video below and then go to their website and look through the samples. They also have several free templates for you to try out.

Physical Discipline

November 21, 2011 — Leave a comment

Have you ever looked down at the scale and wondered how the number got that high? For me, I finally took a long hard look and realized that I need to make a few changes. It’s not that I’m extremely overweight, but I am definitely heavier than I should be. I can rationalize it by saying that I’m still in decent shape. I can play basketball, go run a few miles, ride my bike, and I’m still relatively healthy. But the truth is that I have been undisciplined in my physical life. This summer, I was at the heaviest weight of my life. Since then, I’ve dropped about 10 pounds, but it was a wake up call to me.

I feel like I’m a critical point in my life, and I don’t want the demands of ministry to turn me into a fat and frustrated preacher. Since I want to be healthy and be around for my family for a long time, here are some changes I’m making.

  • Losing weight – I’ve already lost 5 pounds over the past week. I started Weight Watchers online for some accountability and it’s helping me really think about what I eat. I would like to drop about 20 more pounds. It’s been good motivation for me.
  • Exercise More – I’m going to schedule regular exercise times. This is tough in the winter, but I don’t have any excuses. Exercise really helps me clear my head and deal with stress and worry.
  • Regular Physicals – I’m 38 years old and I think the last physical I had was in high school. I’ve been to the local Urgent Care a few times, but I haven’t had a regular Family Physician since the mid 90’s. I’ve never even had my cholesterol checked.  That changed this week. I’m going to take advantage of my health insurance and start building a relationship with a physician. My family has history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other health problems, so I’m going to keep watch over my physical health.
  • Fasting – This may seem out of place to some of you, but I am going to start regularly fasting. Not for weight loss, but to help my discipline. I am spending these fasting days praying for our church and praying for my family. This is something I’ve been reading and studying about for a while, but I have never really incorporated it into everyday life. I’m getting more intentional about seeking God guidance for my life. This is just one way to help that.
  • Laugh and Play – Finally, this one is huge for me. I tend to be a pretty serious guy. I am going to be much more intentional about laughing and playing with my kids and wife. Life is too short to not enjoy it!
Let me challenge you to think about your health. Are you living a disciplined life?

Cornerstone is Awesome

November 15, 2011 — 1 Comment

Our church really surprised me a couple of weeks ago for Pastor Appreciation month. They had secretly collected money and bought me a brand new iPad 2, keyboard, and case. Not only that, they compiled a notebook full of letters that people had sent in. Ministry can be discouraging at times, but all it takes is one look through that notebook full of letters to realize that I am a blessed man.

I feel like a new kid in a candy store. I’m already finding more and more uses for the iPad in my ministry. My wife has had one for a while now, and she uses it all the time as her main internet device. She had let me use it to preach from, but that was about the only time I got to play around with it. I can finally set mine up like I want to and use it even more.  Here’s what they surprised me with

  • A 32Gig wifi iPad 2
  • The Griffin Survivor Case – this thing is crazy tough. It’s got a kick stand to use to prop the iPad up that I’m using a lot. It’s also an extreme duty case that is shock resistant and water resistant.
  • A bluetooth keyboard when I need to type in a lot of notes
  • An incredible notebook full of personal letters to me and my family. Notes of thanks, notes of appreciation, and notes of encouragement. Let’s just say there were many tears shed as I read through the letters.

So far, my most used apps seem to be YouVersion, Evernote, Logos 4, Kindle, iBooks, Air Display, Wunderlist, Dropbox, Pages, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s also really helped in my studying and note taking for my seminary classes. What other apps help in ministry? Any recommendations?

Thanks to all my Cornerstone family! You guys are awesome. I am so excited to see how God is working in and through the people of Cornerstone, and I know we are just seeing the beginning of an incredible move of God.  You have been a blessing to my family, and I am honored to serve as your pastor! Greater things are yet to come!

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Where to Find It

If you are needing images for your bulletin, website, or video screens, there are a number of places you find them on the internet. Please don’t use cheesy clipart!!! Clipart was really never in style, so please refrain from using what you will find in Microsoft Office or Publisher. Here are some of the sites I frequently use. Sometimes you can find great images for free, but occasionally you will need to purchase the graphics you need.

Free Stock Photos

Paid Services

(there are a lot of stock photography sites out there, these are just the ones that I have used)

Google Images and Flickr

One word of caution: Just because you can find a great image using Google Image search or Flickr photo search, doesn’t mean that you can use it for your church. If in doubt, be sure and request permission from the content creator or find an image that uses creative commons licensing. 

 

 

If you’re looking for some great resources in church media, then check out only144.com. They have almost $1200 of church videos, images, and graphics available at a cost of less than $100. The only catch, it’s only good for 144 hours. Here’s what they have to say

WHAT YOU GET

You will receive a 5-disc data DVD set with all the files, over 15 gigabytes! Each disc is neatly organized according to producer and includes worship videos, loops, countdowns, graphics, announcement slides, PowerPoint games, sermon videos, sermon series plans, and so much more.

WHY IT’S A GREAT DEAL

The stars have literally lined up! Thirteen of the best worship media producers in the country have pitched in to bless the socks off of churches with this deal. Worship media can be expensive, and this is a great opportunity to get enough media to last your church many years to come. Maybe your church needs some good worship loops, or countdowns, or some great sermon illustration videos. Whatever you need to spruce things up…BAM! It’s in this collection. There hasn’t been a deal offered like this ever before, so don’t miss it. It only lasts 144 hours.

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