Thursday, January 31, 2008

7 hours and counting

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why you're needed

Did you know that you really can make a difference? Check out this link. I found out about this from Cliff's blog and it got me thinking about church planting and specifically our church plant. We need to create the kind of environments that result in raving returners. To do that we need people who will take ownership of whatever job they have (in and out of the church) and do their job in such a way as to make people go "Wow!" I think we're going to have to use this video in our core team training.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Ode to Toby

Today is a sad day around the Everette home. We had to put our dog of 11 years to sleep today. Toby had been having some health problems and his kidneys just shut down. Toby will be missed. That's all I feel like writing right now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Post of the week

While I do encourage you to continue to read Vince's posts on "Waaaaaaa, I'm not getting fed," this week's honor goes to Ben. You can read the post here.

The reason this resonates with me is that in a church plant there is all kinds of stuff that needs to be done and you don't have to be an expert to do it, you just need to step in and be available and just do it. Sometimes the mission is more important that our own personal comfort, wishes or desires.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Great quote

I want to have a church full of two types of people: The lost, and missionaries to the lost. - Vince Antonoucci.

Me too.

A new first

Unless you've been living in la-la land you know it's election season. Since the Republican primary was last Saturday we no longer have to suffer through McCain, Huckabee, Ron Paul or Fred. Now we just have to suffer through the Hillary/Obama/Edwards pleas for a few more days. Well, today there was a message on my home phone from some anti-Hillary folks. It was brutal. It lasted almost four minutes and just berated Hillary over and over and over again. I received phone calls last week asking me to vote for Huckabee and McCain, but they were pretty civil. They didn't bash each other. But today's message was one of the most degrading things I've ever heard. The guy on the message did all but call Hillary every cuss word in the book. In the words of the troubled Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?" Why do people have to be such jerks?

The problem is that we as Christians do the same thing towards each other. What happened to "they will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another?" It's no wonder people don't want to become Christians. Add to that the fact that all of the candidates say they are Christians. We've got to do a better job at representing Jesus.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Discipling your kids

Whenever the topic of discipling your own children comes up people seem to always have some kind of extreme reaction. Some people break out in hives because they are scared to death. Some people could care less so they don't do anything. Some people plan out an entire detailed worship service (and their kids are scared to death).

A passion of mine is my kids becoming disciples of Jesus. Beyond
being commanded to do this in Scripture, for me, it's personal. I want my children to be life long Jesus followers. So for some reason I feel the need to share some thoughts about the subject and some of what Liz and I do.

First, discipleship is more caught than taught. I do believe that we need to be intentional about discipling our kids, but if we, as parents, are growing as followers of Jesus then three hours of family devotion on Saturday are going to have much effect.

Second, I don't think things have to be elaborate. I think discipleship flows out of us knowing and doing God's word. We need to know what Scripture says and then we need to do it. It's both/and not either/or. There doesn't have to be a craft involved, unless you like crafts and are artistically gifted (that's just not me). It doesn't have to take an hour (we usually spend 5-10 minutes a night doing what we do).

With that in mind here's what we're doing this year. We got our kids Bibles for Christmas. It's not like they didn'
t have a kids Bible. I'm a pastor for crying out loud. I've got more Bibles than half of the Chinese Christian population. But even though my kids have Bibles and devotion books galore we know that there's something special about getting something new. So we got them new Bibles. We got Nathan The One Year Children's Bible. It has a reading for each day of the year and over the course of the year Nathan will get an overview of all of Scripture. That's pretty cool. He's a great reader so it's right on his level. He enjoys reading each day's section and he feels like he's fitting in with mom and dad who are reading through the Chronological Bible this year.

The reason this is so important to us is that we believe that the best habit our
kids can develop is the daily habit of spending time with God.

For Matthew we got My First Message. It has 50 stories from Scripture. It is well illustrated. The cool thing is that it is interactive. There are questions, prayers, projects to do and a little grasshopper-type guy that you can search for in the pictures (aka: where's waldo). He's loving it. He asks for it most nights. Actually, he's adamant that we read most nights, even when his parents are tired and just want to put the boys to bed!

This is what we're doing now. We're not experts. I don't think I could write a book on the subject, but we're trying to grow a love for and knowledge of Scripture in our kids. And I only share this to encourage other parents to "man up" and help their kids develop the habit of spending time with God and a love of his Word.

Anybody out there have any other ideas they want to contribute to the discussion?

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No more gym for me

After reading this article I think I'm going to cancel my YMCA membership and use that money for other things. That's about as manly as not eating red meat!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Posts of the week

Once again this week's honor of "posts of the week" go to Vince. He began a series of posts this week entitled "Waaaaaa, I'm not getting fed." You can find the posts here. They are worth your time.

I've been saying for a long time that it's not the church's responsibility to keep feeding people. Of course we need to feed baby Christians, but we need to also teach them to feed themselves. That's the only way they'll grow up. Maturing Christians need to be feeding themselves and others, but as Vince says, we're lazy. We'd rather have some pastor's chewed up, half digested burger than dig into Scripture ourselves and let God speak directly to us. Too often we're "sermon connoisseurs," instead of Scripture connoisseurs.

I'm always thinking about what a disciple of Jesus looks like in today's world. This week I've keep coming back to the fact that it's someone who spends time in God's word and then aligns their life according to it.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Day!



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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let the fast begin!


OK, maybe that title is a bit too excited sounding. To be honest, I have trouble with fasting. I'm all spiritual and gung ho in the days leading up to the fast, but then on the day when it's supposed to begin I start coming up with excuses about why I should bail. Why do I tell you this? Well, our launch team is going to be fasting from food and media from 6 PM today (Wednesday, January 16) to 6 PM tomorrow. I know that in all probability, they are also a bit apprehensive. But we're going to do it anyway. Why? Because we know that planting Hub City Church is something that is bigger than us. It's a God-sized endeavor and we want to be in tune with what God is doing. We also have some real needs that we are asking God to provide. Does God have to provide? No, but in Hebrews 11:6 says that "God rewards those who honestly seek him." We are seeking God. Jesus says "You don't have because you don't ask," so we're asking. Feel free to join us. Also, feel free to leave comments about what God is saying to you. But don't comment on this blog. Comment here. I'd love for this blog to be a conversation. Right now it's a monologue. Leave a comment to let others know how things are going.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The 300

Last night at our launch team gathering I shared what we're calling The 300. No, it's not based on the movie (I didn't like the movie... sorry Brian). It's based on a need. We're going to be launching Hub City Church sometime in September. In order to launch right we need to raise about $30,000 in start up funds. When I look at that number I am totally overwhelmed. That's where The 300 comes in.

The 300 is really 300 opportunities to give $100 a piece. That means we need 300 people to give us $100 a piece, or 30 people to give $1000 a piece, or one person to give $30,000, or some other combination. You get the picture. Well, I shared The 300 with a group of pastors today at lunch. Someone pulled out their checkbook and wrote a check for $100 and gave it to me before I even finished my little spiel. Someone else committed $200 for the next couple of months. I couldn't believe it. God is already providing.

Would you pray for us as we seek to raise $30,000? Will you consider contributing to The 300? I'll keep you updated on this blog about our progress. One down, 299 to go!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fun with my boys


Yesterday was pajama day for Matthew at preschool. Here's a pick of him in his Awesome Spiderman PJs. I gave him two rules for school: No shooting webs at people and no climbing on the ceiling.

Tonight I'm taking Nathan and Matthe
w the David Crowder band concert. It should be a lot of fun rockin' and jammin' together. Maybe some good father/son bonding time.

And last, but definitely not least, today was the BIG day. The day that Liz
has been putting off for a while. What day was it? The day of Levi's first haircut! Here's a pic of him in the chair. He was unsure of what was going on, but once he got a sucker in his mouth he was A OK.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Going all the way


Maybe I'm just dysfunctional, but I'm not the biggest fan of relationship books. Most have great information but are too long or hard to read to be of much practical use for busy people. That is by no way the case with Craig Groeschel's book Going All The Way.

The book is funny, practical, dead on Scriptural and easy to read. I am going to make it a must read for any couples who want me to preform their wedding ceremony. It's also a must read for anyone who is dating, wants to be dating, wants to be married or is married but knows that things aren't all that they need to be. I promise, it will not be a waste of your time. If you're a parent then I'd recommend this book to help you help your kids through the minefield of dating and finding a spouse.

I kept thinking to myself while reading that Craig is saying everything that I want to say about dating, preparing for marriage and marriage all in one place... and it's easy to read... and it's funny. So go pick up the book, read it and then come back to comment and let me know what you think.

Wasted

One of my greatest fears is that I'll get to the end of my life and realize that I've wasted my time on this playground we call earth. I guess one of the reasons I have this fear is that I see so many people wasting their space.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Two great questions that can help move us from a wasted life to a life of meaning are: What am I giving my life to? And, what is the one great something I am living my life for?

To follow up on that, most of you know I'm planting a church. I can't think of any better endeavor that giving your life to helping plant a church. I know I'm a bit biased, but being a part of a church planting team is one of the best ways to invest your life in something that's bigger than you. We're looking for some of you to join our team.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Quote

I read this quote from Ben this AM (in between cleaning up vomit from Matthew) and thought it fit perfectly with what we talked about first last night: I have to say that our church is not right for every believer. We're a church on a mission. If your first questions are about attendance figures, how much money the church takes-in, and what my theological pedigree looks like... we're almost certainly not the church for you.

Must read

I currently subscribe to 22 blogs via bloglines. Of all the blogs I subscribe to my favorite would have to be Vince Antonucci's blog. He's creative, he's funny and he's planted a church that is actually reaching people who are far away from God (something that is a big desire of mine for Hub City Church). Last week he did a series of posts regarding launch teams for church plants. If you are a church planters or you're on my team (or any plant team) then you need to read these posts. You can get to all five posts here. It's definitely worth your time.

Full speed ahead

We had a great launch team meeting last night. I am so excited about the direction we're headed and the possibilities. I am excited about the team that God has given us. I can't wait to see what doors God is going to open this week. God has done an amazing work to restore my passion to plant a church in Spartanburg.

Which gets me thinking... there are some of you who read this blog who need to get on board with what we're doing. There are three ways you can get involved. First, you can join our prayer team. We are attempting something that's so big that if God doesn't show up there's no way it will happen. E-mail me with your e-mail address and I'll add you to the list. Second, some of you need to become a financial partner of Hub City Church. We need kingdom minded individuals who will commit to financially fund this mission. Third, some of you locals need to join our launch team. Is God calling you to be on our team? E-mail me. We'll meet for coffee and talk.

On another note, Matthew is blowing chunks today. I hate vomit, but I feel so bad for the little guy. Please pray for him and pray that none of the rest of us will get the bug.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Super size

I'm not one to super-size my orders at fast food places. I really don't need a cazillion more grams of fat added to my already billion fat gram order. But as I've been putting plans on paper for the launch of Hub City Church I find myself praying super-sized prayers. I think that church planting is a God-sized task that requires God-sized prayers. Prayers that might seem outlandish and ridiculous have become common place.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Long time no see

It sure has been a while since I posted anything. I know that each of you out there has been depressed and waiting for me to write something. I'm depressed. After Clemson's pathetic showing at the Chick-fil-a bowl. How can we be so unprepared? How can we make so little use of all of our talent? Oh well, enough of that.

It's good to be back in the saddle again working at full speed towards the launch of Hub City Church. Today is a planning day. I'm putting thoughts to paper. I'm excited about what God is going to do this year. I could definitely use some prayers for wisdom. There are way to many decisions to be made and I need wisdom now more than ever.