Today is Memorial Day, much more than a day off work and a chance to bbq with friends and swim. Today is a day to remember those who have paid the price to purchase and protect our freedom.
I live in the greatest country on the face of the earth. I have freedom of speech. I can go wherever I like today. I don’t live in fear (although gas prices are starting to scare me ). I have food to eat. In short, I’m blessed beyond measure to live in the United States of America.
So today, thank you to every person who has served in our country’s armed forces. Thank you for putting yourself on the line for our freedom, and attaining freedom for others. To families who have lost a loved one in service: THANK YOU. I can’t imagine the pain in your loss, but I want you to know your loss is acknowledged and appreciated by those who benefit from it.
As you celebrate today, take time to remember and appreciate those who have paid such a high price for our freedom. Remember, freedom isn’t free, it comes with a cost!
Coming off two great series, Life Hurts – God Heals and Beautiful, I feel like God has been given me great clarity about what to teach. That’s a reassuring feeling, because I never want to simply speak from my own wisdom or desire, but to know I’m teaching that which God has placed on my heart. I also believe He’s placed some teachings on my heart for the next couple months. Here’s what’s coming…
June – OnePrayer – we’ll be joining with over 800 churches around the world, representing over 600,000 believers to answer the question, “if we could pray one prayer, what would it be?”. I’ll be teaching the first week regarding my prayer for the church. The following three weeks we’ll be utilizing video teaching to hear from some ofÂ today’sÂ greatest teachers and pastors, many of whom are also personal friends of mine. We’re planning to have Craig Goerschel, Perry Noble and Ed Young teach at Palm Valley. At the end of the series we will give an offeringÂ along with all the other churches to plant 500 new churches in India, China, and Africa. How awesome to be a part of what God’s doing around the world! PVC’ers, you don’t want to miss this series, it’s going to awesome.
July – Jonah – I love the story of Jonah, it’s more than just a big fish tale. We’ll be talking about what it means to follow God with everything we have, and his vision for us to spread His good news around the world.
August – The Ultimate Fighter – this series has been on a my heart for a long time and I finally get to teach it. I had planned to do it earlier but some other things came up. Anyways, we’ll take a month to talk about what it means to be a man in today’s culture, and how to stand strong as leaders in our marriages, as dads, at work, and in the church. We’ll talk about common temptations and how to overcome them. As you know, I’m a HUGE UFC fan, and we’ve got some awesome surprises (guests) planned for this series. Ladies, drag your men to church
I’m still praying about a couple options for September and October, but I’ve got a good idea where we’re going. We’re hoping we’ll have all our permits in place to break ground on our buildings, so I’d like to do something teaching around that.
We wrapped up the “Beautiful” series this weekend, and here’s some thoughts I left with…
- Adam did an awesome job leading worship. He’s got such a great presence, it was cool to see him take this step.
- This is one of the best series we’ve ever done. The positive words we brought to women obviously struck a cord in our church and our community.
- I’m going to do another series for women in the future.
- Had a visiting couple brag on one of our greeters, Craig. He went out of his way to walk them around our campus to check in their kids and find them a seat in worship. That’s what I’m talking about!
- Alvin, John, and the video team did an awesome job the last couple weeks overcoming some major equipment issues.
- I’m wiped out. I’ve taught 24 of the past 25 weeks, that’s way too much! Throw in 5 services and I’m drained physically and emotionally.
- God has blessed Palm Valley in incredible ways over the last few months; I’m blown away!
- I’m getting pumped about OnePrayer in June, it’s going to rock the world.
- Our kids team is getting even stronger: Adam Nunez has returned to our staff to head up all of our large group programming. He’ll be stepping up the level of music, drama, video and teaching! Priscilla Tallman is coming on to head up Elementary small groups. She’ll be equipping, encouraging and mentoring our children’s small group leaders to pour into the lives of every child who comes to Palm Valley.Â Children’s ministry at PVC is going ot a whole ‘nutha level!
- It was awesome to see our “GO” students in service this weekend. 28 high schoolers who are going out this summer as our missionaries.
- The response of the people of PVC to our GO team was overwhelming. The students are fully funded for the summer.
- Someone donated a Jeep Grand Cherokee to us. We’re going to trick it out with a pumpin’ sound system, video screens with Xbox and wrap it with the Palm Valley logo. Our Student Ministries team will be using it to go on Jr. High and High School campuses and get to minister to students.
I’ve not been blogging a lot lately, spending a great deal of time focused on what’s coming next (and beyond) for Palm Valley Church. Last weekend was another incredible weekend, as we continued the “Beautiful” series and celebrated Mother’s Day. Here’s some highlights…
- Â 2800 people in attendance. We keep growing every week.
- Kids and Students are hitting it out of the park. They’ve eliminated the excuses with being portable and are creating incredible environments for young people to thrive in their faith in Christ. I’m challenging 100 more people to step in and volunteer in these ministries so we can reach even more kids for Christ!
- Dedicated over 60 babies last week. I guess our PureSex series last year was a big hit
- Taught about Hannah, what incredible faith in God she possessed!
- Susie’s story rocked everyone’s world. you can watch it online.
- Preaching 5 services wears me out. It’s Wednesday before I feel human again.
- I love hearing about changed-lives. God is doing something amazing, and I love that I get to be a part of it!
A huge congratulations to our super-duper worship leader Derrick Logan and his wife Kim, who finally had their baby at 3:40 p.m. today.
Little Jude William Logan was born 8lbs 13oz’s, 21 inches long. Both mom and baby are doing great!
No word yet if the little guy has that very cool hair-do of his father, but we’ll see soon