Posts Tagged ‘ Brightwood Farms ’

Easter Sunday at Awestruck

Easter was an amazing day at Awestruck Church.  We definitely set an all time attendance record.  We worshiped for the first time in our new location in downtown Gibsonville.  More importantly, many people indicated that they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

You can click Right Here to watch the video of the Easter sermon.

(Apologies for the sound and image.  We are working out some kinks that come with a new location.)

Here are my sermon notes for anyone who wants to follow along…

As prisoners … People are restricted in their time, conversations, opportunities, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and future

If I was ever really in this situation then all I would dream of is the day that these chains were to come off

If I were locked away my only hopes would be the day that the Prison doors were opened up and I was able to walk away a free man.

In all 4 Gospels of the New Testament we hear about a prisoner by the name of Barabbas

He was locked up and had lost all of his freedom

He was a revolutionary against the Roman government.

Mark 15 : 7  One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising.

Pilate allowed the crowd to choose between two inmates

The “Notorious Prisoner” Barabbas and Jesus of Nazareth

On that day the Crowd shouted “Give us Barabbus”

Pilate argued with them and tried to convince them to take Jesus

Going against his better judgement…Pilate granted the crowd their wish

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus … Barabbas did not have to face his punishment

Barabbas was set free because of the suffering and death of Christ

***Jesus Christ Unlocked the Chains that held Barabbus Captive***

Jesus Christ took the punishment that was intended for the Notorious Prisoner

The name Barabbas appears nowhere else in the New Testament,

All we know is that he was in Prison for murder and…

Barabbas was the first person in History that felt the immediate Freedom From the Sacrifice Jesus made for this world!

And the effects of what Jesus did are still changing the world today!

Hebrews 13 : 8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

John 3 : 16  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Ephesians 1 : 4  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

I am Barabbas!  You are Barabbas!

All of us are made a prisoner and have a death penalty because of our sin…

Romans 6 : 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus came to set us free and take our punishment!

For many the Easter is about Plastic Eggs, Baskets, and Creepy Bunnies…

Today is a day to celebrate the Resurrection of of a Risen Savior

We don’t just celebrate a man that was brutally beaten and put to death

We have reason to celebrate that His tomb was empty!

The Empty Tomb is our Source of a life that is Full and Abundant!

The resurrection of Jesus means that He conquered death and hell…

We are no longer a prisoner to Sin because Jesus has the power to set us FREE!

Jesus, the Son of God, was sent to earth to take on the sins of the world.

He died a physical death and came back to life!

The Resurrection is the source of our Faith and our only Hope!

The Empty tomb is the hope for all Humanity!

2 Cor 5: 14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.  Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. 15  He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. 16  Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look.  We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.  We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. 17  Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 19 God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  (Message)

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (KJV)

Just like the freedom and excitement that Barabbas must have felt…

Chains removed, Future Renewed, Hope Restored

Jesus suffered and died so that we could be experience true freedom!

Today we choose to celebrate our Risen Savior who has victory of death.  

The ending of his life was brutal, violent, ruthless, savage, And undeserved.

His flesh was beaten, his blood was shed, His heart was broken

But his capacity to love never surrendered.  

His human body failed him … But his amazing love for you and me carried him all the way to a cross where He was tortured till his death.

But that’s not the end of the story.  

It would be grotesque for us to worship a God who would put His only son through such useless abuse and misery if there were no better conclusion to the story.

–He no longer lays lifeless in a cold tomb.

–He sits and reigns in Heaven, beside His father.

Jesus is the sacrificial lamb that took on our sins so that we could know God personally.  

Jesus is the one who speaks on our behalf, even in the face of our betrayal.

He is the bridge that allows us passage across the great separation from our God.

-It was His humility that put him on the Cross.

-It was His love that brought us Forgiveness.

-It was His sympathy that provides us grace.

-It was His suffering that heals our pain.

-It was His Sacrifice that brought us Freedom from our curse

-It was the empty tomb that assures us of a life on earth that is abundant and overflowing…

And an Eternity full of worship and praise to God in Heaven.

Let us worship the sacrifice and Let us Celebrate the victory of our Savior today!  

We are Free!  He is Alive!

21 Days of Prayer for Our Big Move

As we prepare to move the location of our Church Services we are asking you to join us in prayer.  Each day we will be united in prayer about a specific thing that leads us to Easter.  This is a great way for your family to be part of what God is doing through Awestruck.

Let’s pray big prayers and trust Him as we move forward.

1 John 5 : 14  And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15  And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
21 Days of Prayer:

March

16 Pray for at least one lost friend to invite to Easter Sunday

17 Pray for all the work in the theater to be completed on time

18 Pray for all the administrative and financial needs of the renovations to be met

19 Pray for unity and peace among the staff

20 Pray for wisdom and guidance for the staff

21 Pray for the leaders of the ministries of Awestruck Church

22 Pray for the volunteers at Awestruck Church

23 Pray for God to open hearts to the Gospel in the town of Gibsonville

24 Pray for the leaders and public servants of the town of Gibsonville

25 Pray for the business owners in the town of Gibsonville

26 Pray that God will use Awestruck Church in a big way in Gibsonville

27Pray for the new families that God is going to bring to our church

28 Pray for God to give you an opportunity to invite a friend to church

29 Pray for pastor Josh and his family

30 Pray for pastor Mike and his family

31 Pray for Tyler and his family

April

1Pray for Erin and her family

2 Pray for Erin as she leads her team to minister to our children

3 Pray for Tyler and the band who will lead the church in worship

4 Pray for Josh as he prepares to preach to the church

5 Pray that lost people will find the saving grace of Jesus Christ

FAQ’s About our Big Move

move

In case you missed the news this weekend…Awestruck Church is moving our meeting spot to a Historic movie theater on Main Street in downtown Gibsonville.  As we have been planning this move and talking with people, certain questions have been asked over and over.  From our staff to some first time guests who heard the announcement on Sunday, these are the top questions we have answered.

Why Gibsonville?

Our heart was to plant in and reach Eastern Guilford county when we started meeting in my house almost 8 years ago to plan and dream about starting a church.  8 years ago we looked at meeting locations from Alamance Crossing all the way up to the Mt. Hope Church Road exit on Hwy 85.  Gibsonville is in the perfect location to fulfill the vision that God gave us so many years ago.

Also, when we considered moving closer to Greensboro there were several factors that caused us to stop and say no.  Property in Greensboro is expensive to lease or purchase.  There are so many great churches doing amazing things for the Gospel in Greensboro.  God is calling a large number of church planters into that area that have just recently started or are getting ready to launch.  While there are a some churches in Eastern Guilford County doing big things, we still see the need for a vibrant, gospel centered church in this area.

Downtown Gibsonville is busy and alive with activity.  Great restaurants, parks, a dance studio, and local businesses make this a hot spot for big crowds.  We are moving our incredible church to where the people are instead of hoping they come and find us.  This gives a great opportunity to meet and spread the gospel to a larger new group of people.  We are excited about becoming an active, supportive member of this community.

Why move instead of build?

We are currently meeting on a beautiful piece of property in Mcleansville.  Unfortunately beautiful does not always translate into easy and convenient.  The land does not perk well for extra septic needed to build on our current property.  To build on that property will be extremely expensive because of the septic issue.  We were given an estimated cost of around $100 thousand just to put a septic system in.  That is $100k before we ever break ground on a new building.

Our heartbeat at Awestruck is to be fiscally responsible when it comes to our tithes and offerings.  After meeting with several different contractors, inspectors, engineers, and other pastors about this issue over the past two years, we have decided that it is not a great financial decision to begin construction at this time.  The cost issue combined with a hard to find location are the major factors that led us to decide to make a move.  This does not mean that we will never build on this property.  This simply means that with our budget and the current size of our church it is not our best option.

Are we selling the current property?

The short answer…NO!  (That is the first “no” I’ve been excited about in a long time.)

On a very selfish note, I love our current property on Butler Road.  It is peaceful and a blessed place.  God used that property not only to enhance our church, but also to encourage me at a tough time in my pastoral life.  I believe the gift of that property was God’s way of giving His stamp of approval to the work He has called me to do.

On a church wide not, the property is still an excellent location for us to do ministry.  God did not give it to us to waste or leave empty.  I don’t know exactly what the future holds for that property.  I do know that God has a plan and we are open for wherever He leads us.

Why are we moving so quickly?

The original plan was to start renovations in April and move in when it was ready.  God’s plan was for us to get the keys on March 8.  Our plans to meet, pray and discuss the move with our congregation got expedited when we got a surprise phone call last week informing us that we could move in several weeks earlier than expected.

Easter Sunday will be a great day to launch into the future of Awestruck Church.  People love to come to church on Easter.  For the Lilly and Poinsettia crowd (“ChrEasters”) it is one of the two times they will attend all year.  I can’t think of a better Sunday to introduce the awesome ministry of our church!  We will also be able to host ONE service on Easter Sunday for the first time in many years.

Here are Some Questions I have for you…

What will you be doing to help us get in the building on time?

Who are you planning to bring with you on Easter Sunday?

Where will you be serving on Sunday mornings at Awestruck?

How much could you give to help us achieve the financial increase for our church?

“Illuminate” will Brighten your Christmas?

illumate-picThe month of December we will be shedding a different light on the story of Christmas at Awestruck Church.  I am so pumped about this teaching series as we talk about the purpose of the Birth of Jesus.  It’s not going to be all about a manger, donkeys and wise men, but more importantly why that process was necessary and what does it mean to us in 2008.  We are shining some light on Jesus’ reason for coming to earth…He came to Illuminate!

12/7  “The Story of the Tree”     12/14  “Shine the Light”    

12/21  “Be the Ornament”     12/28  “The Star on Top”  

Our First Service

All the sleepless nights and stressful days were well worth the effort as we celebrated our first service today at Awestruck Church.  I was thinking as we finished our set up how much of our stuff got done at the last minute, but you would have never known it this morning.  Yesterday while setting up the bulb on the projector burnt out and we did not get the sound system to the school until late last night, so all that had to be set up today.  Our location was not secured until about 9 days ago.  We just chose to laugh and enjoy the adventure.  Other than the fact that I emailed Evan the wrong scriptures for my message, the service went off without a hitch.  It was almost scary how smooth everything went!  I didn’t feel like I ever got into a good flow with my message, but that will come with time.  It is more difficult than I imagined to switch from set up and maintenance mode into preaching mode.  Layden flat brought the house down with our worship.  It was a bit loud (even for me) but the music was incredible.  A new sound system combined with a new setting will take some time to dial it in right.  They played two of their original songs to open and close the service.  The last song was “Hear me Loud” which was very fitting.  🙂  We had a great crowd this morning at Eastern Guilford Middle School.  It was a very diverse group of people.  It will take us time to sort through all the info cards to figure out how everyone found out about Awestruck, and next week will tell how many folks show up for a second time.  The fact is that the real work has just begun.  This is the part I have been waiting for.  Loving people and connecting them to a genuine community so they can encounter Jesus.  Here are some pics of Awestruck’s first service.

I think I Might Throw Up?

This blog is about honesty!  Me giving the world a glimpse into my life as a husband, father and church planter.  I love to write about how incredible the church and the team are.  I would rather tell the world of our long term goals of seeing thousands reached by the love of Jesus than expose my inner most thoughts and fears.  However, if I am really honest about how I feel right now with only 18 days until Awestruck becomes official…I am feeling uneasy.  My stomach has been in knots, my mind is moving faster than my body can process, and I am an emotional mess at times!  It is not easy for someone like me, that likes to make plans and stick to them, to continually walk by faith with nothing more than a promise to hold onto.  I get anxious about everything going right on our first week.  I wonder if anyone other than my family will even show up?  That being said, every time I have felt this way along our adventure of planting Awestruck, God has shown up and done some insane things.  I have posted many blogs about what God is doing through my weakness.  We are at a place right now of not being able to afford all that we want.  We don’t have all the resources we hoped to have by this point?  BUT, we have most of what we need to get started.  Perhaps the greatest thing about not starting with all the stuff we wanted is how it continually forces us be more dependent on God.  It is bringing out the creativity of our leadership team to make much out of little!  Money and resources have come from some surprising places.  People have stepped and given to support what God is doing through Awestruck.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Eastern Guilford County!

Awestruck Podcasto is on the Air

This is the first installment of the new Awestruck Podcasto.  Just a little teaser of things to come.  Enjoy!