Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Prayer Meeting

In reading for my Winter class, I came upon this quote by Charles H. Spurgeon in his sermon: "Ask and Have":

"As to the congregational prayer, the gathering together in what we call our prayer-meetings, is there not a falling off? In many cases the prayer-meeting is despised, and looked down upon as a sort of second-rate gathering. There are members of churches who are never present, and it does not prick their consciences that they stay away. Some congregations mix up the prayer=meeting with a lecture, so as to hold only one service in the week. I read the other day an excuse for all this: it is said that people are better at home, attending to family concerns. This is idle talk, for who among us wishes people to neglect their domestic concerns? It will be found that those attend to their own concerns best who are diligence to get everything in order, so that they may go out to assemblies for worship. Negligence of the house of God is often an index of negligence of their own houses. They are not bringing there children to Christ, I am persuaded, or they would bring them up to the services. Anyhow, the prayers of the church measure its prosperity. If we restrain prayer we restrain the blessing. Our true success a churches can only be had by asking it of the Lord. Are we not prepared to reform and amend in this matter?"

Updates on Past and Present Things


I wanted to briefly bring you up to date on a few things:

1. Thank you for your patience for the Memorial and In Honor Display. A year ago, we took dedications of $500.00 in Memory of those gone on before us, and In Honor of those we respect that are still living. For many months, I worked with a professional Memorial Display Company to design a nice display. After much red tape, very expensive quotes, and dissatisfaction,etc. - I abandoned the idea for a much better one. By the end of February you will see a beautiful display in our auditorium on the piano side/lobby wall. It is gorgeous, so be ready to be pleased :) Those of you who would like to give a gift to the Building Fund in Memorial, or Honor -- there is still time, and places will be available after the display is up. We will also be offering a larger, second Tier of Memorial/Honor at the $1000.00 level. Past donors may upgrade their Memorials. Please see a staff member for details.

2. The 6:30pm Prayer Meeting start has been a Kick-off success. We have dismissed the service at or before 7:45pm. Folks have enjoyed the new format and there has been much fellowship following. It is our continual goal through 2009 to grow that mid-week service to fill the auditorium.

Please pray for my family as we will be traveling this coming Monday to South Carolina for my annual Master's Degree block class. I am somewhere near 1/2 way completed with the degree. (Actually PV may beat me earning his!) This year, in lieu of the Pastor's missions trip (interrupted by baby #5) - I will be taking the full 2 weeks of class. I will be missing only one Sunday and will see you again Sunday, Feb. 1st.

Well, see you this Sunday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The House of Prayer: 6:30pm

I have announced that it will be a goal in 2009 at LBC to build our Prayer Meeting. We have taken several steps to make this service more accessible and functional to our people. Now please don't think this is a seeker-sensitive move! :) You know that I am very opposed to trading Biblical direction for men's opinions. However, there is certainly liberty with our services to make them more accessible to our people and still keep them Biblical.

There are several families that have indicated that they would come to the Prayer Meeting if they were able to be home earlier. There were only a few that reported an earlier service would keep them from coming. Most that come already to the service said they would not be affected either way. Since our King's Kids service has always been at 6:30pm, beginning tonight we will be starting our Adult Prayer Meeting at the same time. We will try to keep the service around 1 hr. and 15 minutes. This will allow for fellowship, Teen choir, etc. after the service before the King's Kids dismiss at 8:15pm. Here are some of the elements we are incorporating each Wednesday Prayer Meeting:

1. Missionary Spotlight-(a short time that highlights one of our Missionaries)

2. Occasional specials- we will occasionally allow our children to minister to us.

3. Preaching/Teaching- we are currently teaching an advanced Bible Series entitled: Handbook for Discipleship.

4. Prayer- We will continue to have a concentrated time of prayer at the end of our service; sometimes in groups, sometimes by the leading of a few men, sometimes in pairs.

I do pray that the Lord will graciously move many hearts to come to Pray. Consider please the following strong thought, and I hope to see you tonight:

Jesus never said, My house is a house of Missions. He never said, My house is a house of Sunday School. He did say, My house is a house of Prayer. Abandon Missions and Sunday School before neglecting the Prayer Meeting.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Missionary Need

Some of you know one of our Missionaries, Gary Cowley. Gary is a guy who was saved out of a very rebellious background and used of the Lord to preach in Prisons for Rock of Ages Prison Ministry.

He has undergone some serious medical issues lately including heart attack, etc. Gary lives literally on a shoe-string budget. He lives with his mother and if my memory serves me right is less that 50% supported of what he really needs -- but, he keeps on preaching and serving God. Gary considers Lighthouse his "church away from church" and has many close friends here including Carmella P., the Ellsworths, Scott J., etc.

Gary presently has a need of around $650.00 for some medical supplies that his insurance won't cover.

If you would like to help him, just put a check in the regular LBC offering with "Gary Cowley gift" in the memo. All funds will go directly to him.

Gary is the Lord's to him is giving to the Lord.


Friday, January 2, 2009

In Appreciation

I rarely take this blog to speak of so personal a subject, but I think I need to do it, so I am. (that's deep)

This week has been particularly rough for our faithful Office Manager Jeff. I know that most members don't realize the scope of Jeff's job and therefore fail to appreciate his responsibilities and help him in them. There are too many things he does to list them, so I'm not going to even try; but I will tell you, if it deals with paper, display, activities, events, facility, etc....he's involved. It should be known however, that he is one of the driving forces for organization and "system flow" of our church. That means that things run smoothly mostly because of Jeff behind the scenes. This week the Main Office Computer (which is less than a year old) crashed without resolution. This of course is his main tool of service. Though we have an internal backup storage hard drive, nearly a month's worth of work died in a second. All of the Annual Report work was there. We are trying to retrieve these files through a professional computer Guru. Needless to say, this hit Jeff pretty hard.

Jeff and Jess also clean the buildings as a separate agreement that began while we were in the warehouse. When someone "trashes" the building, it directly impacts their workload. They use this ministry of cleaning to employ different teens from time to time to help the teens and mentor them. I say these things so we as a congregation can appreciate and respect their efforts.

Here are a few things you can do to show your appreciation to his ministry to LBC:

1. Never call him at home. He does NOT work for LBC at home, he works during office hours. Spread the word, because people do call him at home.

2. Use the office folder in the lobby when possible to request things, return things, etc. instead of going up to him at church. He likes to worship also. I understand some things are unavoidable, but be respectful of his family's desire to also worship while at church. Call him in the office during the week for business.

3. Clean up after yourself in the church, class, bathrooms, etc.

4. Thank him for all he does. Bring him vegetables. He a non-red-meat-eater.

5. When you ask to borrow stuff through him(chairs/tables), bring it back when he asks you to, or when you promise. Most people do not bring things back on time.

6. Send him an encouraging email:

7. Never call him a Secretary, though he serves as mine. He is "Appreciated Administration" all the way.

Thanks, this will make for a better church experience for you also. I sure do like our staff...we should Praise the Lord.

Happy New Year again!

p.s. My Dad has not had a seizure since I returned and he and Mom are on their 50th Anniversary Cruise beginning tomorrow! Amen, thank you Lord.