Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Flashback

The wildfire that is burning approx. 100 miles to our west has really brought us a lot of smoke. This morning as I drove into Nags Head it was worse than any smog I ever saw in the LA basin of the 70's. And it affected the air quality in our building, because our AC system pulls "fresh" air from outside throught the system. But as the winds picked up (thanks God) from the NW it cleared the air and gradually cleared our air indoors as well.

The 9AM gathering was easily our biggest crowd since Easter's blow out. 11AM was not so packed but still a good crowd. You can see the video of the 11:00 gathering here.

I asked Nathan to share their story with the church. It was their first Sunday back together since before Christmas, and a lot has transpired in their lives. Simply put, both were powerful worship times. The icing on the cake was when Tricia and Gwyneth came up on the platform and joined Nathan at the end of each talk. You had to be there!

It never ceases to amaze me how NHC is impacting lives. We're in a unique postition to influence many outside our community because of our location in a resort town. Our presence on the internet also connects with so many. And when I think of where we were just a few years ago I'm blow away. God is good!

Andy got to introduce our bumper crop of high school grads this morning. It's exciting to see these young people pass this milestone and move on in life. Our goal and prayer is that they'll grow in God's grace and not drop out like so many typically do at this stage. NHC works hard to give them a strong foundation.

After the 11:00 gathering was done we got to have lunch with and interview 7 adults who want in on being part of the fellowship. We're excited to welcome them to the family. That's always a great day.

Wish I could show you the photo I took with my phone of the thermometer in my truck while driving home. 100. So I'm enjoying the AC and ceiling fan in my family room with Nate and Tric on their laptops and Sue Burns feeding Gwyneth.

Next Sunday: "How to Be a Dad Who Rocks!".


Andy Lawrenson said...

Wow, we had lots of guests in person and via the web today.

Scott said...

It had to be one awesome day Rick, I'm so happy for all of you!

Alicia Moore said...

Hi Pastor Rick,

Let me start by saying you have an amazing family (especially son).

Thank you for allowing Nate to share the story of their journey this past Sunday! What an awesome testimony of how GREAT our God is.

Nate did an awesome job of sharing about how faithful God has been and how he can work things together for good in all situations. I'm curious as to why people were not given the chance to pray to receive Christ and have their own relationship with God? (at least I did not see it on the video).

I do have my own personal relationship with God, (I say this teasingly), but I was ready for an "alter call" so I could get "Saved" again.

It seems to me that I just saw an amazing opportunity pass by that could have changed lives forever.

Thank you again for all you are doing for the Kingdom! I pray that if Nate gets to share his story again, that someone takes the opportunity to pray with people.

Please understand that I say this with the best of intentions and purest of hearts. It's so hard to read tone or tell what is coming from ones heart.

Thank you again!

Rick Lawrenson said...

Back to Alicia,

Thanks for watching the service on line.

As to the opportunity to pray and receive Christ, good question. Sometimes the message is about receiving Christ, sometimes it isn't. So we don't always include a special "time" for that.

We also know that God's Word is powerful and that His Spirit draws men and women to know Him as Savior. So we trust Him for that as well.

Nathan's message yesterday wasn't really about the Gospel and receiving Christ but about the faith lessons God taught them through their journey.

I'm guessing our church probably does things differently than many, and that's OK. What matters is that we're consistently sharing Jesus and living what we say we believe. The rest is up to Him.

It's also our belief that the Bible teaches that salvation is a one time experience and an "altar call" isn't necessary to believe in Christ.

And how do we know that those lives weren't changed? I think we sometimes put too much emphasis on when and where the saving is realized. It's God, remember, who gives the increase.

Coming from a background myself where every Sunday an invitation to "come forward" was given, I understand where you're coming from.

Good questions you asked.