05-28-17 @North Heartland: The Great One-Month Prayer Experiment
Good morning family and friends of North Heartland ... and welcome to the official "opening weekend" of Summer 2017. With the abnormally cool weather, it's a little hard to believe that heat and humidity is just around the corner!
This weekend also marks the conclusion of the "One-Month Prayer Experiment" in which I challenged everyone to commit to praying for at least five minutes a day through tomorrow, Saturday May 27th. While I can't say that I hit the mark every single day, I can say that having this goal has led to a lot more praying than is typical for me (which, as a pastor, is a little embarrassing to admit). In addition, I have been much more conscious of the opportunity and necessity to "pray in the moment" as situations arise during the day. Furthermore, I have seen several very specific prayers answered.
How has the experiment affected you?
This Sunday, you (along with everyone else who calls NHCC "home") will have the chance to answer that question. Literally. My message will be very brief - just a quick review of what we learned in "The Great Prayer Mystery" series - and then I'll stop talking and invite anyone present to briefly share their experience.
- What prayer has God answered?
- How has praying more consistently changed you?
- What are you praying about that has not yet been answered? (so that others will be able to pray with you)
Just so you'll know ... one of the things I've been regularly praying in the past month is that many NHCCers will have the courage to share their experience. I know it can be a little intimidating to stand up and talk in front of people if you're not used to doing it! To be honest, I'm a little concerned that fear will get the best of us and no one will.
However, I also believe this is what the Lord wants us to do Sunday. I believe He wants to be glorified through all of us in this service, so I am trusting that He will give the courage to those who are supposed to share. In keeping with that conviction, I've not done anything to "prime the pump" - I've not asked anyone to "go first" so that others will feel comfortable. I'm choosing to trust that whatever happens in the moment is what the Lord wants to happen.
Should be a great day. :)
Having said all of that, I realize that with this being Memorial Day weekend, many of you are going out of town and will miss this service. My challenge to you is this: go to church somewhere on Sunday morning (or afternoon or Saturday evening). Google it - there are lots of churches near where you are going. Pick one and go. Seriously.
Will those churches be like NHCC? Probably not.
But that's OK. From experience, I can tell you that there is something quite spiritual and uplifting when you gather with Christians you don't know yet who are worshiping and learning about Jesus - even if the way they do it is different from what you're used to. In addition, it is encouraging to them when believers from other locales join them. Plus - and maybe most important of all - it honors Jesus that we put His community and His movement first ... even when we're on vacation. :)
Another option (slightly less preferable in my opinion) is to tune into the live stream of our service at 9:30 and 11:00 Sunday morning. Install our app from Itunes or Google Play and click the media tab. Or go to our website and click the "Sunday Live Stream" button on the homepage.
Ok, campers, let's all have a great weekend!
Stats from last Sunday ...
Ministry & Operations Fund