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This caught my attention this morning so I wanted to share it with you.  I just reprinted it exactly as it was written.  Please don’t be offended at me if there is something on this list that you dislike.  I think we should be “seeker friendly” and all, however, how about let’s just “Give them Jesus”!  He’s the one that is going to make all the difference in the world anyhow.  Jesus! In our services, outreach programs, youth programs, Sunday School, on the bus routes, music department, in the warm handshake of welcome, etc., “I Give You Jesus”! In all of His power & glory! That is what will change a visitor’s heart and make them want to come back to our churches.

Editor’s Note: Sometimes we spend too much time asking—and answering—the wrong questions. In this post Perry Noble helps us get back into the shoes of the unchurched. Here are ten things unchurched people are probably not asking about your church:

1. “What do you do to disciple people?”  (This question is usually asked by people who want to “microwave” spiritually, not understand that they themselves actually became mature in the “crock pot.”)

2. “Who is speaking this weekend?”  (They usually don’t care about the WHO…it’s the WHAT that matters to them.)

3. “Are you reformed in your theology?”  (Most of them have no idea what in the heck this means!)

4. “Is your church spirit-filled?”

5. “What version of the Bible do you use?”  (Many unchurched people don’t even really know there are different versions!)

6. “What denomination are you affiliated with?”

7. “How many different activities can I sign my family up for in order to add to the insane schedule that we already have?”

8. “Does your pastor teach exegetically through the Scriptures?”

9. “Are there lots of crosses and pictures of Jesus in your church?”

10. “Are you guys pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, or partial trib?”

Author: Perry Noble

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This is a picture of Nathan, Danelle and I singing, “Your Presence” at our Christmas Concert.  The words caught my attention as soon as I heard the song.

“In the busy Christmas noise, All the light, the bells, the toys,  I have found You are the only source of comfort and joy.

Lord, I want Your presence for Christmas.  I want Your presence for Christmas.  I long to hear Your spirit speaking peace to my heart.  Of all the gifts I may receive, there’s only one I really need.  And it’s Your presence, Your presence for Christmas.

When this Holiday is through and the year is fresh and new, what will linger are the moments spent, my Lord just worshiping You.

Breathe on me.  Breathe on me.  I want Your presence, Your presence for Christmas. “

I was thinking about this and how true it is.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season if the Lord is not present for our Christmas, it is not at all important.  This train of thought brought me to this, wouldn’t it be awesome if Jesus decided to return for us on Christmas 2010?  How awesome would that Christmas gift be?  Wow!  However, He decides to wait, I still want His presence to be present at my Christmas.

Have a very Merry Christmas everybody!  Be blessed in the New Year!

You can hear the song, sung by Sisters here:  http://youtu.be/E2dK_adVYzQ

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Too Funny!

Nathan and I are in Eminence, Kentucky preaching a 10 year Pastoral Anniversary for Robert and Sherri Eades.  Rob was in our church in Texarkana.  He was 12 years old when we went there and grew up, became a great musician/singer/songwriter and then the Lord called him to preach.  He met Sherri at a General Conference and the rest is history.  They have done a great work here in Eminence and the Lord will continue to bless them. 

Here’s the funny part.  As I mentioned before, Rob is a great musician and songwriter.  I have always loved to sing one of his songs, “I Put my Trust in The Lord”.   So…I had already planned on singing that song tonight.  Well…..Bro. Sean Griffis (MC for tonight’s service) had Rob and Sherri sing too and when they started singing I recognized the song and began to sing along, back in my pew.  Something kept niggling at the back of my mind about the song they were singing…”I just feel it won’t be long now, ’til we see the King of kings….”  I finally leaned over to Sis. Terri Griffis and said, “I think I wrote this song”.  About that time, my husband looks at me from the platform and mouthed, “Didn’t you write this song”?  They kept singing,”……and I will Praise Him through eternity”.  Song over.  People were praising the Lord and Rob looks at me from the keyboard and said, “That’s YOUR song”.  LOL  I got so tickled thinking,  it’s pretty bad when you write a song and can’t even remember.  Well, I finally remembered that I did write that song and was blessed by the way Rob and Sherri sang it.  Put a couple of new twists (jazz moves) in it too.  Made me smile.  Then, I get up and ask Rob to play for me and he said, “Do I know the song”?  I said, “I think you might” and began to sing his song and he and Nathan joined in with me, “I put my trust in the Lord to see me through.  He’s never let me down, even though I thought He would.  And no matter how dark the night, I knew the Son would bring the light. I put my trust in the Lord to see me through”. 

 I guess we had a mutual admiration party going on.  It just struck me funny.  If you don’t think so, that’s okay.  Just let me smile.

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Saturday at 11:00 am.  they began to gather at the neighborhood park.  We never really know how many will show up, but we were once again surprised as between 350-400 people gathered.  The men and ladies of The Pentecostal Church were busy at work getting folks registered, grilling hot dogs, attending the jump house and handing out tickets for the drawings and backpacks to be given away.  Everything was free!  The food, the cold cokes and water, the chips,  the games and all the prizes.  Our guests were treated like royalty!  After a time of fun and games, Bro. Josh Combs from Maryland gathered everyone in and began to have more fun with telling the Gospel Message.  I could see the children began to be touched by the Spirit of God.  I looked around and not only the children but some of the parents were being touched as well.  When Josh asked everyone to pray there was a sweet presence of the Lord that came into the park.  One lady I prayed with was so moved that she was little frightened.  I watched her as tears began to form and she put her hands down quickly.  I asked, “Are you okay”?  She looked at me and said,  “I just feel like crying.  Why”?  I explained to her that it was the sweet presence of God she was feeling and that it was okay.  She began to pray again and this time wept openly before the Lord.  She did not receive the Holy Ghost but she will be taught a Bible Study.  I know she will come to know the Lord.  She will never forget what she felt.  Another lady that brought her family to the park told one of the ladies in our church, this story….”Two years ago when you all had the Back to School Bash, my children didn’t get a backpack.  I told you about it and you took my name and address down.  I didn’t really think anything about it, but then you showed up one day that next week with backpacks for all my kids, filled with school supplies”.  Then she said with tears, “I will never forget your act of kindness”.  One of her boys received the Holy Ghost and 4 of the 15 that was baptized was from her family.  You never know what a small act of kindness will produce.  By the end of the day at our Back To School Bash, 5 were filled with the Holy Ghost and 15 baptized in the precious name of Jesus.

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Sunday, 2:00 PM  began our Kids Crusade!  From the moment the first praise went up to Heaven you could feel the excitement in the air.  The presence of the Lord was so strong in the Praise and Worship part of the service.  EVERYONE became kids today.  The Kids Praise sang and everyone was involved in,  “I’m Gonna Sing, sing, sing.  I’m gonna shout, shout, shout.  I’m gonna sing.  I’m gonna shout and praise the Lord.  When those gates swing open wide, I’m gonna sit down by His side.  I’m gonna sing.  I’m gonna shout and praise the Lord.  I’m gonna snap…I’m gonna clap…jump, bump…..zoom around the room…”.  You get my drift?  Ha!  It was great but it took a lot of energy.  Then they sang, “You are the one that I worship…”  and “Jesus! Everything I need is in that Name”.  How precious to see and hear these children sing praises to God.  Then Bro. Josh Combs again got us all going with songs like, “Jesus, You are my Super Hero”.  Great stuff.  Once again he told the gospel story in kids terms and did a superb job.  When he asked for us to come pray, the altars filled with children, hungry for God.  Even teenagers and adults were touched and reaching out to God for help.  To end all the festivities of the week-end there was a candy rain, with PLENTY of candy showering down to the kids. We had a great Kids Week-End.  Children are precious in the sight of God and I want to always remember that!

The Pentecostal Church put it on top shelf this week-end.  Or as they say now-a-days…”IT WAS OFF THE CHAIN”!

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We all showed up yesterday at church wearing some version of black and leopard. 🙂  I wonder why that happens sometime?  I guess the old saying would apply…”Great Minds run in the same Channel”.  We thought it was “cute” so we took a picture.          

     Church Ladies

Minuet, Me, Amanda, Mindy, Danelle

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This may seem a little sacrilegious to some folks, but bare with me for a little bit.

I grew up in a Pentecostal Preacher’s home.  I loved every minute of it.  Really!  When I was young and we would have a revival (extended series of services), we went to church every night of the week.  Then we progressed to having Saturday Nights with no service.  That was great because then we didn’t have to go to church on Saturday Night with curlers in our hair.  No hot rollers back in those days so we had to roll our hair Saturday Night so it would be pretty for Sunday.  Not quite sure why it wasn’t so important to be pretty on Saturday Night. 🙂  Anyway…then we progressed to having Monday and Tuesday Nights off and having Revival services Wednesday through Sunday.  Ahhh..the joys.  Well,  in some of those long services when my friends and I would get a little bored we would make up things with the songs we sang in church.  Here are a couple we use to sing and  then laugh ’til we cried.  My brother and sister was in on it too.  “Now lettuce (let us)  have a little chocolate (talk with) Jesus, Lettuce tell Him all about our bubbles (troubles)….”  and,  “I’ll fry (fly) an egg (away) Oh glory…” .  As I got older we still had fun with songs.  We would mix words up like, “Oh glory je to bejus let the rallelujahs hole….”(Oh Glory be to Jesus, let the Hallelujahs roll).

Other times people thought they heard something different then what was actually being sung.  A friend of ours, Bill Henry, who we (Nathan and I) sang with for many years, wrote hundreds of awesome songs.  One song he wrote, “Running With HEAVEN on My Mind”,  had to have a little word change, because the first time we sang it he had written it to say, “I’m running with WINNIN’ on my mind” and a man in our church was laughing after service because he said it sounded like we were singing,” I’m running with WOMEN on my mind.”  🙂    My mother-in-law said that when she was a little girl she couldn’t ever understand why they would sing a song in church about a cross-eyed bear name Gladly…”Gladly the cross I’d bare…”.  Singing is good for the soul but it can kind of get you trouble sometimes too.  For instance, one time when my Dad resigned from a church, he then asked Mother to sing and she sang, “It Will Take Me a Million Years to Thank the Lord”.  Probably not the best selection for the moment. 🙂

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my little tour down memory lane.  I’m sure if you were raised in a preacher’s home you could tell some of your own stories.  Just thought I’d share a little church humor with you.  Hope you don’t think I’m horrible, but P.K.s  are good at finding ways to have good fun, even in church. 🙂

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What a smashing success!  Over 87 visitors.  So many good things happened I don’t even know how to put it in words.  Go here for a good report and some photos.

You can also view photos on my flickr account.  You will find it in the right column under “More Pics To Enjoy”.

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