Thursday, April 30, 2009

New HGBC Website Up and Running!

Our Director of Worship Arts is far better than all other Director of Worship Arts! His name is Hunter Hall and you just wish your church had one! Hunter came on staff in October of last year and has helped us tremendously. We're truly blessed to have him and Becky (and Carson).

So Hunter has completely redone our church website. Want to see it? Go for it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Phishing Scams

I received a "phishing" call today. "Phishing" is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. So my phone rang. It was an 800 number. When I answered it, an electronic voice informed me that my credit card had been compromised and frozen. In order to reactivate my credit card, all I had to do was enter my 16 digit number. Needless to say, I didn't comply. I hung up.

I can't believe that there are people out there who would fall for this kind of a trick. And yet the fact that phishing scams exist tells me such gullible people do exist somewhere. How about you? Would you give such sensitive information so easily? Of course not. But none of us would say that something like this could never happen to us. Given the right set of circumstances, each of us could fall for an elaborate enough scam.

The same is true in our spiritual life. Paul wrote, "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Think of temptation as Satan's "phishing" scam. He's out there casting his hooks and hoping some sucker will take the bait. Don't be that sucker. When temptation comes calling, just hang up. How much more important are our souls than our bank accounts?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twitter

So I've started twittering or tweeting or twitting. Whatever it's called, I'm all in and I like it. My url is http://twitter.com/mceloria. Check it out sometime.

And if you haven't started twittering/tweeting/twitting, you really should look into it. It's here to stay.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hope for the Nations

We had a great time of worship at HGBC tonight! Our church is highly missional. We feel the Lord leading us to look like our changing community and become more diverse. As part of our 20/20 vision, our church houses three international congregations on Sunday morning (Iranian, Korean and Chinese). Well, tonight all four of our churches combined for an even called "Hope for the Nations."

It was a slice of heaven. I can now imagine what it will be like when believers from every tribe and tongue spend eternity as one.

As part of the event, the international churches performed some of their own ethnic music. Each was amazing. In addition, our churches formed a combined choir that sang five songs. The climatic song was "Let the Church Rise" from Bethany Church. I wasn't able to see what was happening in the congregation, but an email I just received made me wish I had eyes in the back of my head.

Mark,

Thank you so much for putting Hope for the Nations together! What a wonderful time of joint worship, at least from my perspective. It's amazing to see what God is doing among the other congregations, and very humbling that God called a Chinese dentist to be a missionary in America--we think that our job is to evangelize the world, not the other way around.

I know that you couldn't see what was happening during "Let the Church Rise", but it was one of those goose-bump moments as one by one the Church started to rise while we were singing--by the time we finished, most of the congregation was standing. I hope that at least some of them caught the vision during that song and will get involved in missions somewhere, somehow.

Thanks again for what you do for us and how you lead us in worshipping the Lord!


Man, I have the best job in the world!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ahh... the Good Old Days!

I pulled my old Caselogic out of our storage closet today. You might remember those things. It's like a book that holds CDs. So this book hasn't been opened in 10 years. This is basically my CD collection from the 90s. At the time, all I listened to was Christian music. I've had a blast listening to these familiar tunes while importing them into my iTunes collection.

So here's a list of some of my favorite artists and tunes from my Caselogic:

Steve Green - MY MAIN MAN!!! (God and God Alone)
Steven Curtis Chapman - a very close 2nd (More to This Life)
4HIM - too many to list
Acappela - Listen to Him
Bryan Duncan - Don't Look Away
Clay Crosse - He Walked a Mile
Crystal Lewis - People Get Ready
DC Talk - Colored People
Jonathan Pierce - Praise the Lord (as made famous by the Imperials)
Larnelle Harris - Beyond All the Limits
Michael English - In Christ Alone
Michael O'Brien - If Ever I Forget
Michael W. Smith - Place in This World
Newsboys - Shine
Out of the Grey - If I Know You
Phillips, Craig and Dean - Crucified with Christ
Point of Grace - GACK!!
Truth - Holy of Holies
Jaci Velasquez - On My Knees
Tony Vincent - Out of My Hands
Wayne Watson - Friend of a Wounded Heart
White Heart - Desert Rose

Guess the "worship movement" killed CCM. Man, I kind of miss it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in Business

If I had any regular readers on my blog, I'd say I have lost them by now. It's been three weeks since I posted anything, and I wasn't burning it up before then. Recently, the idea of blogging has not been very appealing to me. Truth be told, I've been on several "kicks" that have just left me with little interest in keeping my blog up to date.

First, there's the start of baseball which always ruins me for a short while as I can't read enough articles or check out enough box scores to slake my thirst. Must...not.....let it......win!

Secondly, my wife gave me an iTunes gift card for my birthday. Let me tell you, it's the best gift I've ever gotten. At first, I ran out and bought all the stuff I knew. But then I started searching high and low for some "sugar sticks" and have discovered some amazing music! It's almost like not watching movies for 5 years and then catching up in two weeks. The card is all used up, but there's still a ton of music on my wish list. I guess it's time for the obsession to end. Must...not.....let it......win!

So a quick update on church.... Easter was amazing! The time of congregational worship and Pastor Kim's sermon were amazing. We also had several elements of "special music" that were just anointed. Hunter sang a song called "True Love" by Phil Wickham in our contemporary service. What a song! If you've not heard Phil Wickham or this song, watch the video below. It will bless you.