God And Dog

Of all the great things that have come out of today’s PCConline service, I think this might be my favorite. Not only because of what it is – which is incredibly creative and clever – but also because of how I heard about it.

A Twitter-er who goes by the g00g01p1ex tag watched with us last week. I’m not sure how she heard about the service, but she did. She came back again this week, and Tweeted me a link to this video in response to the grace-filled talk that Brian gave today.
Take a look; if you heard today’s message, do you see the connection?
Thanks, Leslie….

Just Enough Strength To Live For Today

I’m freaking out about the weather, because apparently we’re going to get hammered with another snow storm. We had a stroke of good fortune and holy inspiration last weekend when we stumbled upon a way to broadcast a PCC service live via ustream. It was fun and exciting and lots of folks tuned in and we were glad we didn’t have to miss church completely.

But here we are again – maybe – and it’s not feeling quite so fun this time. Why? For starters, we want to do a better job than we did last week. We’ve got a little bit of a learning curve to make some improvements on the experience we can offer online. I’m feeling the pressure – from myself – and it’s going to require some serious work over the next two days, if the weather is as bad as predicted.
Also, we miss church! We don’t WANT to miss another weekend of services!
Lastly, we’re hurting. If indeed we have to cancel weekend services, it’ll be the third time we’ve done so in the past eight weeks. At the risk of sounding crass or offending somebody – nobody ever likes to hear church people talk about money – I’ve just got to be honest and say that it’s killing us financially. I heard a great leader say today that “it is a noble thing to give money to a work that God is doing through the local church.” True, that; but when folks don’t have the usual opportunity to give, the impact is huge; more than you might imagine. We hope people will give online, via the mail, or catch up later – but it’s not happening yet and we are facing a difficult situation.
That is stressful.
However, I am learning something new in the midst of this, and it’s been really cool. It’s not necessarily a spiritual thing.
It’s about the weather.
My friend Scott pointed me towards a new resource. I’ve always been comfortable watching the local news and getting the info I need – or maybe checking out weather.com. But this forecaster takes the time to explain the most basic, rudimentary information – and it’s fascinating! I’m not only finding out what is going to happen (according to his predictions), but why.
And that kind of knowledge is a good thing.
The spiritual application might be a bit of a reach, but it’s a common theme. Struggling through finances, revenue, service planning – it can certainly preoccupy my thoughts. Cause tension and stress. Become an obsession.
And when it does? Time to remember a few important things. Look through new eyes. See a different perspective. Step back and think about the why behind the what. And remember the how.
Joy unspeakable that won’t go away
Just enough strength to live for today
So I’ll never have to worry what tomorrow will bring
‘Cause my faith is on solid rock – I am counting on God

FYI: As of right now – Thursday evening – we are still planning on church at PHS on Sunday morning. If the weather does not cooperate, we WILL stream a live service again. News will go out via email, the website and Facebook. Stay tuned!

ADDITIONAL FYI: If you are a regular financial supporter, please continue to give; support what God is doing through the local church so that we can continue to focus on our mission.

Snow Days

Here’s a few snapshots from behind the scenes of Sunday’s online church broadcast.

I’m revisiting the event. I have a lot to process, you know…thinking about what we did and how it worked…and wondering what we would do differently next time.

I’m thinking about that a LOT.

We’re sitting under 13″ of snow right now – school cancelled today and tomorrow for most of the area. Expecting more precipitation tomorrow.

AND ANOTHER BIG DUMPING OF SNOW FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.

When I lived in Ohio, this was a way of life. But here? The Old Dominion can’t seem to cope.

And I’m beginning to wonder what we might have to do NEXT WEEKEND if we can’t get into the high school to have church services…

So – here’s my question to those of you who witnessed last week’s episode of PCCOnline:

What are two things that we could do to improve your

live, online worship experience?

Your comments are welcome below….

Our neighbors – Shelly, Macy (the most incredible reading genius ever!) and April – and me, doing some tech cramming at the last minute…

Brian, doing a last-minute read-through of the message…

Our neighbor Chad, who ran the camera and kept the tech part together.

The “congregation” – at least the part that we could see – which consisted of all of our kids.

Sarah and Andy leading worship.

God Speaks In My Bathroom

I spent most of Saturday preparing for streaming our ‘PCCOnline Experience’. Typically, it takes an hour or two of weekend prep time to make sure that we have everything lined up for church – but this was completely different. Lots of technical issues and things that were completely unfamiliar to me; I was feeling a bit of pressure.

When I woke Sunday morning, I made some coffee, started getting ready and found myself overwhelmed with all that we ought to do – what we shouldn’t do – what had to go right – what couldn’t go wrong…
And at one point, with a million thoughts going through my brain, I thought, “Well, at least we’ll have a good time doing this.” With Brian and his family coming over, plus Chad and his crew, Andy and Lori and my entire family, I knew that it would be fun.
At that moment, I felt – as I have before – the gentle, corrective voice of God. Sometimes it sounds like my conscience. Sometimes it’s just seemingly random wisdom. Often, it happens in my bathroom (go figure).
This time, it was strong and gentle – affirming and authoritative.
“THIS ISN’T JUST FUN. THIS IS FOR REAL.
THIS IS CHURCH.
THIS IS WORSHIP.
THIS IS COMMUNITY.
THIS MATTERS.”
Whoa.
I stopped, dead in my tracks in my bathroom. And I sat down to pray.
My perspective changed, immediately. I understood that more than just some fun use of technology or a fun experiment, this was something definitive and intentional to which God had called us. The snow provided the circumstance and opportunity – but God orchestrated our response. Looking backwards beyond my stress and tension, I could see more clearly.
And I got it.
What happened today fit the mission statement of PCC. It helped us reflect the goodness of God and our passion for Him.
And it’s given us so much food for thought.
Thanks for being there; thanks for the feedback, the real-time discussion. Thanks for telling your friends.
It was a good day.

PCC Online – Live Worship Tomorrow


Big news around here:

All of VA is snowed in. Everything is cancelled.
Including church services tomorrow.
HOWEVER:
Tune in tomorrow for our first ever LIVE STREAMING WORSHIP EXPERIENCE!
Church, online, via the amazing power of the internet.
You’ll be able to watch a little bit of worship and Brian’s message – live – from the comfort of your home.
YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO GET DRESSED!
Check out this site – tune in tomorrow at 11:00 AM for the service. You’ll be able to log in and chat with other folks via text – just like AIM, Facebook or gmail chat.
We’re excited about using this technology for the Kingdom. It’s an experiment – so bear with us if it looks like we’re not sure what we’re doing! We’re just willing to try WHATEVER IT TAKES.
PCC 2.0 – here we go!
Find the site now at www.ustream.tv/channel/pcconline. You can go ahead and log-in to enable chat and you’ll be ready for tomorrow!