Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Mountaintop Staff

Thank you Jimmy Fallon for inspiring this year's Mountaintop Staff's Christmas Video!

Merry Christmas from the staff at Mountaintop!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fleets of United Prayer

As many mercies are transported from heaven in the ship of prayer, so there are many special mercies that can only be brought to us by the fleets of united prayer.
Charles H. Spurgeon - 1885

Here are some great Bible passages you can pray for Mountaintop (and every church) - and  it makes a difference when we pray together as a fleet of united prayer.

Pray that we will preach the Word of God without apology.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2

Pray that we would devote ourselves to prayer.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2

Pray that we will boldly share Jesus as the only hope for salvation.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

Pray that we will worship God in spirit and in truth.
God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
John 4:24

Pray that our leaders will serve humbly as godly examples to all.
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:2-3

 Pray that we will labor and strive to present everyone mature in Christ.
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1:28-29

 Pray that more workers step up to faithfully serve on and off the mountain.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”
Matthew 9:37-38

 Pray that our leaders equip the saints for the work of ministry.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Ephesians 4:11-12

Pray that we never lose our first love.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Revelation 2:4-5

Pray that we will trust Jesus to grow Mountaintop to His glory.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Matthew 16:18

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2: 42 - 47

Our Future is Dependent on Prayer

One of our core beliefs at Mountaintop is that:
 Our Future is Dependent on Prayer
Our future is not dependent on the success of our ministries or the power of our worship services (although we strive to do all those things with excellence that honors God).  Our future certainly does not depend on how hard we work or how clever, creative, innovative or efficient we might become.  Very simply our future is entirely dependent on God’s power and therefore our future is dependent on prayer.
Tonight and next Wednesday evening we are going to focus on that core belief.  On Wednesdays each week our goal is to dig deeper – for the next two weeks we are going to be digging deeper into prayer.
We will spend some time in worship to get our hearts centered on Jesus.  Mari Beth and I will teach a short lesson and then we will pray – for ourselves, for those we love, for our church, our community and the world.  We will have opportunities to pray for others and to have others pray for us.
I know how busy our weeks can become but I believe what we will do these next two Wednesdays is of such importance for you and for our church that I am praying you will join us and that together we will experience the power of prayer.

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.  - Acts 4: 31

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Flood of Justice, Candy and Can Goods!

Sunday evening Mountaintop was invaded by the characters of the Lego movie, Thing One and Thing Two, Spidermen, Caped Crusaders of every shape and size, the Blues Brothers and enough Frozen Princesses to fill a parade.  Together with a lot of other costumed kids (of all ages) they knocked down our staff, made crowns, tossed rings and navigated mazes – with the brief interruption of a Flash Mob dance (if you want to relive that special moment check it out at Beat It  - password:  beatit)

But even more important this year Punk Your Trunk helped us be a part of God’s Flood of Justice as we completely filled the bed of the church pickup with canned goods that will help to fill the pantry at Oak Mountain Mission. 

Thank you to everyone who made a donation of candy or candy goods, to all who punked their trunks and those who made invitations.  Together we discovered what extraordinary things God can do when ordinary people make themselves available.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

All In Exchange Prayer Guide

November  6 – 9 our Student Ministries is holding our third EXCHANGE WEEKEND.  It’s a weekend when students are encouraged to exchange the ordinary for something extraordinary.  The theme this year is ALL IN. One of the ways we can all be ALL IN is to beginning praying for the weekend right now.

We believe that the future of Mountaintop is dependent on prayer.  As Jim Cymbla has written, prayer is the engine that drives the church.  Our Student’s Staff has put together a Prayer Guide that I’ve posted below.  Please join me in praying for an extraordinary EXCHANGE 2014.

Monday, October 20
that lost students will attend EXCHANGE and will decide to accept Christ.

Tuesday, October 21
for our student staff: Chris, Heather, and Scott will make wise decisions about EXCHANGE.

Wednesday, October 22
that we will be able to find the right number of leaders to serve at EXCHANGE.

Thursday, October 23
that students will make a commitment to be at EXCHANGE.

Friday, October 24  
that God will change the lives of teenagers and adults that attend.

Saturday, October 25
as Heather Olivet prayerfully coordinates the host home organization and that God will provide the right families to serve as host homes.

Sunday, October 26
that our theme verses, Colossians 3:23, will impact the lives of students.

Monday, October 27
that God allows safe transportation throughout the weekend.

Tuesday, October 28
that the EXCHANGE worship leaders, John Mccullough and his band, and EXCHANGE speaker, Justin Warner, will allow God to guide them as they prepare to lead worship and speak to students.

Wednesday, October 29
for wisdom as students are grouped together and assigned to host homes.

Thursday, October 30
that students will have boldness to invite their friends.

Friday, October 31
that leaders and co-leaders will have diligence as they prepare to teach the All In curriculum.

Saturday, November 1
that students who have not signed up will make the decision to register.

Sunday, November 2  
for other staff involved in weekend – media, facilities, kitchen staff, etc.

Monday, November 3
that Justin Warner will be used by God to speak truth into the lives of students.

Tuesday, November 4
that students who have not accepted Christ will be open to the gospel and that Christian students will be challenged to a deeper walk with God.

Wednesday, November 5
that leaders and co-leaders will be spiritually, mentally and physically prepared.

Thursday, November 6
that the Thursday night rally will create a desire in our students to hear from God.

Friday, November 7
that students have a great start in the host homes.

Saturday, November 8
that students will open their hearts and minds during the EXCHANGE sessions.

Sunday, November 9
that students will make decisions for Christ and that EXCHANGE will have an impact on the families of our students who attend.

Monday, October 20, 2014

More Social Less Media

After years of going back and forth debating the pros and cons and always landing on “just leave it as it is” – I’ve finally decided that after 8 years it’s time to say goodbye to Facebook.  It’s not an easy decision, there’s a lot I love about Facebook.  It’s a great way to see pictures from family and friends, share news and of course to discover through a Buzz Feed Quiz which font type I am.  But I’m convinced I can manage to live without those benefits (and I’ve already discovered that my font type is Futura).

There’s a lot I can go into but here are a few reasons why I am leaving Facebook.

Facebook sucks time from my life.  Do a quick search on the topic “Facebook wastes time” and you will find enough articles to waste a week of your time.  The truth is (and studies keep backing this up) there is an addictive quality to Facebook and it takes time away that I could be using to do something far more beneficial.  

Most of my Facebook friends aren’t (actually friends).  As of this moment I have 1,511 “friends” (more than my sister but far less than an average college freshman).   A quick scroll through those names and it’s amazing how many I don’t even recognize.

There are other options for photo sharing.  Instagram really is a much better option if all you want to do is share a photo (plus I can play around with the filters).  Photo Stream is a great way to share albums and I can find the photos without having to sift through my Candy Crush and Farmville invitations.

I get better information from Twitter.  I mostly just follow news, weather and sports feeds (plus a few bloggers that I like) and find it a great way to get current news that I care about (47 seconds ago I learned that Brandon Marshall called out Jay Cutler in the Bears locker room). At times it seems that half the posts I read on Facebook are political rants, cynical observations or warnings about the dangers of Ebola, ISIS and milk; and the other half are a mix of inspirational sayings, funny videos and ads.  On Twitter the 140 character limit means that at least the political rants are short.

I don’t really need another way to communicate.   At times I’ve found myself overwhelmed when I receive a long Facebook message sharing a thought or asking for prayer.  It’s enough of a challenge keeping up with email without adding another “mailbox” to check.

Less is more.  Is a lesson we learned in our first year of architectural history (I even blogged about it Less is More).  The simple fact is the less amount of time I spend on Facebook is more time spent in real life – and there’s a lot of great stuff happening in real that’s way more interesting than anything on my timeline news feed.

Leaving Facebook doesn’t mean I am giving up on Social Media.  I love using Twitter (@TDoug) and Instagram (tdoug84) and even my sporadic blog posts (A Wandering Aramean) and I will continue to do so (plus I will probably try whatever new new thing gets created next year).  But right it’s time for more social and less media and so with this post I am logging off Facebook one last time.