Recommended Reading

9:14 PM at 9:14 PM

Simply Strategic Volunteers - Empowering People for Ministry
Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens


Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church
Nelson Searcy


Simply Strategic Growth: Attracting a Crowd to Your Church
Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens


The Life God Blesses
Gordon MacDonald

The Dwight Bobble Head!

10:33 AM at 10:33 AM

I have to confess... I absolutely LOVE the sitcom show The Office. I don't know exactly what it is about it, but the humor is so unique and outrageous at the same time. I just makes me laugh.

No doubt, my favorite character is Dwight Schrute played by Rainn Wilson. His personality exaggerates (well not really by that much!) people I come across everyday.
My wife loves this character so much in fact that she asked me to get her a Dwight Bobblehead for her birthday last year. So I did!





I have no idea why... but every time I look at this thing, it makes me laugh! I think everyone needs a Dwight Bobblehead! It's a constant reminder that the world is filled with gullible yet passionate people that if you look at the situations at the right angle... they're quite funny!

New Facilities Launch

10:24 AM at 10:24 AM

Wow!  If you were to try to pull me aside a year ago and try to get me to understand just how much goes into starting a new church facility, I would have never been able to even begin to understand the magnitude of that task!

 

Sunday was our first official service in the new facilities of Heavenview UPC (http://www.ServingOurGeneration.com/) and I can honestly say that I have a new perspective on the infrastructure involved in a successful, modern-day church.  The technology laundry list alone required to be just "on-par" with what is expected in a "good" church is massive!  High-power projectors, multi-media display systems, Easy Worship, IR Repeaters, remote switching, sound systems (as if that wasn't over-simplifying it enough!), office systems, phone PBX systems, office computer systems, network printers, data networks, video capture and broadcast systems, fire/security… [Deep breath]!

 

I must admit, it is tough for me to pace myself.  I want everything up and running and I want it NOW.  Financial limitations aside, time will not allow me to get all that I alone have committed to handle finished anytime soon.  What does keeps me going is a statement that my pastor gave me almost a year ago that I believe his pastor (which is my childhood pastor as well) gave him;

 

"Always accept progress over perfection".

 

What a great way to lead people and organizations!  It is so easy sometimes for us to aim for perfection and accept nothing else short of it.  What ends up happening is we never get anywhere!  We get our minds made up that we want "it" this way and anything short of it is failure, when smaller steps actually allow us to achieve so much more in the long term.

 

Believe me, everything wasn't perfect on Sunday, but is you've ever attended a Heavenview service in the last 10 years; you would be blown away by the progress that we have made!

 

 d a n    p o n j i c a n
  C O M M U N I T Y  p a s t o r              
Heavenview UPC  Winston Salem, NC 

 

The Giants WIN!

9:25 AM at 9:25 AM

Last Sunday I preached… “The Passion of Superbowl Sunday”. I have to admit, I had a little fun with this. It was the Sunday morning before what was the most exciting Superbowl game I have seen to date. Okay, I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that MY team, the Giants not only were in the game, but WON the game! What a game!

I just wanted to share the 5 main points of my message in correlating the passion of a sports fan to what I would like to see more oft in the Church. Oh yes, and I did predict a Giants win behind the pulpit in from of a couple hundred people. HA HA!! God is faithful!

1. Sports Fans Are Faithful - They Don't Conform!
Romans 12:2
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Sports fans usually identify with their team. They have hats, shirts, socks, even underwear with the logos of their favorite teams on them. They don't mind being different. They enjoy being the only one in a crowd with the logo of their team on it. They are "representing."

2. Sports Fans Are BIG Spenders!

Super Bowl tickets, World Series tickets, and college basketball's Final Four weekend cost in the hundreds of dollars. No sacrifice is too great when your team is involved in the big game!

Someone said, "You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving." How much do you love Christ? How passionate are you about this thing? Giving is a true test of our love.

3. Sports Fans Are Tireless!

Fans will travel for hours to see their team. Some fans will travel to road games no matter how far away. Further, they are emotionally attached to their cause. They feel that they are accomplishing something by supporting their “cause”.

4. Sports Fans Are Loyal!

If you enjoy sports at all, then you have probably heard of the term "bandwagon" fans. Don’t you hate that!? One minute they are rootin’ for this team and the next the other team. They are always on the side of the winner.

But these aren’t true fans. A true fan sticks with their team… through the good bad and the ugly!

We should have the same attitude as Paul taught the Philippians in Chapter 3: “That I may know him...I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

5. Fans Are Passionate!

True fans will never give up until the last second ticks off the clock. They never stop believing in the in the chance for victory for their team no matter what the circumstances.

In John Chapter 6 we read of followers who walked no more with him. They heard hard sayings that were difficult for them to accept. Jesus watched them leave, and asked His disciples this question, Will ye also go away? Peter replied with the great acclamation: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

There’s no going back… there should be no doubting His love and compassion for us. Don’t lose sight of His goodness to us.

d a n p o n j i c a n

Use It or Lose It!

4:03 PM at 4:03 PM

Esther 4:1-14

When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; And came even before the king's gate: for none [might] enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, [there was] great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told [it] her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received [it] not. Then called Esther for Hatach, [one] of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it [was], and why it [was].So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which [was] before the king's gate.And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.  Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew [it] unto Esther, and to declare [it] unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.  And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.  Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, [there is] one law of his to put [him] to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.  And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.  Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?

 

The other night I had a bit too much caffeine during my "date night" with my wife (thanks honey… I had a great time!).  The truth is I needed it to keep me attentive and just plain awake throughout the evening.  Ahh, who am I kidding?  No one needs that much caffeine.  That was a HUGE Coke!  As is normal with my body, the stimulating effect lasted well into the night much past the time I should have been fast asleep.  By 3am I had made my way out to my reading chair in the living room to indulge myself in God's Word.  I figured I'm not doing my body any good by laying awake fighting this xanthine alkaloid compound that was making my heart race; so I might as well do my soul some good by communing with God.

 

Esther is where my pages opened and I read the passage that I so generously copied for all you loyal readers above.  What an amazing story!  There's so much there that hits me as relevant for a person living in our modern day culture.  

 

We have so much.  Resources are available for anyone to accomplish just about anything.  If you want to start a company, a couple of phone calls, a web developer, google to find a wholesaler and that's it!  You're a modern day entrepreneur.  Want to talk to your mother who is 400 miles away… sure!  [And for free when you're IN]

 

Beyond all that cool stuff, God has blessed us immeasurably.  Look at where are churches are today.  We have great facilities, great music, great everything!  Last night, I met with the Senior Pastor (ß sorry… this is to see if you are reading this!) and we were talking about how incredible it is that God has allowed our church to have such a great staff with such great chemistry and potential.

 

Maybe it's the pessimist in me, but when everything lines up so well… when it is all good, something stirs up in me because I remember the obligation that God has placed on us from scriptures like you just read.  

 

Esther had it good!  Cozy and comfortable way beyond what her peers were enjoying.  Yet it is very clear that God intended her to take a risk way beyond what any of her childhood friends, way beyond even what her mentor and guardian would ever have to take.  She would essentially have to risk her life… her social status… her comfort all for a people that God called His own.

 

That's enough to motivate me!  No more caffeine after 6PM!  And yes… I need to get to work producing what God has called me to produce.

 

 d a n    p o n j i c a n
  C O M M U N I T Y  pastor                    
Heavenview UPC Winston-Salem, NC