Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The favor of God

I love the definition that Mark Batterson gives for the favor of God: The favor of God is God doing something in and through you that only God can do. It is something that you could never do on your own.

That is what I want more than anything. It's what I want in my marriage, my parenting, our church plant and my life in general. I desperately want the favor of God to be upon me. This has become a regular prayer of mine.

Mark also said something else that's worth repeating. He shared that his theological starting point is from Isaiah 55:8-9. God's ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. I need to remember that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

LTM tonight

I'm pretty pumped about our Launch Team Meeting (LTM) tonight. We're meeting in a new place (Arcadia first), at a new time (6 PM). FYI: We'll be meeting in the Fellowship Hall which is around the back of the church. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and preparing to launch Hub City Church.

Monday, February 25, 2008

For Frankie and Brian

See, I'm not the only one who thinks Lost is the best show on TV. Check this out.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Flu

I've got it. Enough said. Back to bed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Posts of the week

I've got a few places you should check out this week. As I mentioned, I went to churchplanters.com conference. A few of the sessions were great and I wanted to pass on some links. Shawn Lovejoy talked about being a healthy leader. Being a healthy leader requires discipline. He posted some great personal diagnostic questions here. Mark Batterson is someone I have an enormous amount of respect for. He posted notes from his talk on being a Secure Leader here. Though it wasn't my favorite talk, Bill Cornelius' talk is online for free here. It's worth listening to. I also want to give a shout out to my friend Pat who became a first time dad on Tuesday. You can read all about it here. Congrats Pat!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dear Anonymous

So that you won't waste your precious time I want you to know (whoever you are) that anonymous comments will be immediately rejected... even if they are positive (but most of them aren't). So, whoever keeps commenting under the name "anonymous" can grow up and stop hiding behind web technology. I'm sorry if you don't always agree with my posts. I don't always agree with myself either. If you would like to add to the conversation then I'm all for that, but not if you're hiding behind the curtain of anonymity.

For those of you awesome readers (all 2 of you) who are wondering, "Where is this coming from?" Let me tell you. I get critical, mean comments all the time from someone named anonymous and I thought I needed to let them know that they are wasting their time. The next post will be more positive!

New time. New Location.

Our launch team will be meeting at a new time and in a new location beginning next week. First Baptist Arcadia has graciously allowed us to use their building (for free!!!). We'll be meeting on Tuesday nights from 6:00-7:30. Click here for directions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oops

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It's good to be back

I had a great time with Chris and Frankie the past two days at the churchplanters.com conference. I must say that I think I need counseling after spending two days with them. I'll post some links on Friday of things that need to be shared.

It's great to go to conferences and learn and be inspired. Learning is such a high value for me. I love other people's stories. I love reading books and blogs. I really loved being able to share my conference learnings with Chris and Frankie.

On a funny note, if you know them, ask them if they slept well. Even though we had a great time I really love coming back home. Nathan and Matthew wanted me to wake them up when I got home. I tried and tried but they would not budge. It was funny (for me). I can't wait for supper and an evening at home tonight!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Off again

After a great weekend in GA with Liz, speaking at Summit Church yesterday morning and having an exciting Launch Team Meeting last night (where everyone who came to our Vision Casting Gathering came back!) I am off again. It's back to Cumming, GA for the churchplanters.com conference. I'm pumped to have Frankie and Chris going with me. I can't wait to learn!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

That's right, it's back: Knight Rider

Can't you hear the music? I just heard I could win Kitt. That would totally rock! I feel like I'm back in middle school.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Post of the week

This week I want to send you to two places. First, you need to check out Jay's post here. I think it is extremely pertinent considering how we are trying to put together a launch team of missional people.

Second, you've got to check out this article from Fox News. Sounds like a sermon that you (or I) might want to do. :)

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

For Valentine's Day


I haven't posted much this week and I know that all three of you who read this blog are going through withdrawal right now. So to rescue you from DT's I'm posting a Happy Valentine's day post.
In a few minutes I get to go to Nathan's school to help out with his Valentine's party. That should be fun. Matthew and Nathan both made cards for Liz and I, well, Matthew made about 7 cards for Liz and none for me. We all know he loves mom more! Nathan made one for each of us. Liz and I are celebrating this weekend. I get to preach at my friend's church in Cumming, GA. (I'm really excited about the topic. It's something I've never talked on before: Why do bad things happen to good people.) And they are putting me in a hotel. Liz is going to go with me and we get to have some fun, kid-free time. I'm really excited!

I experienced one of the funniest things in a while last night (at least it was funny to me). I went to CVS to get a box of candy for Matthew and Nathan... just one of those small heart shaped boxes of chocolate. The parking lot was packed. All spaced were taken and the store was filled with people... well, not the whole store... just the aisles with the Valentine's day stuff. I almost didn't make it back in time to watch American Idol. I just loved seeing all the procrastinators together in one place.

That's all for now... and it's off to a first grade Valentine party!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Grammy's

Did anybody else out there watch the Grammy's last night? For the most part, I thought the performances were lousy, but I have to make an exception for Kanye West. I have no idea what Kanye was rapping about, but the visual effects of his show were amazing (except for the part about his mom, which was just sad, and shows he should rap and not sing). I sat mesmerized by all that was happening on the stage and his costume. I went to bed before the show was over so I missed Carie Underwood (which I heard was really good, even though she's country) and some of the other late performances. It seemed like they were trying to hard to make the performances special by putting various artists together. Did anybody see the exploding VW bug? That was really cool. I'd like to see that again. Although I was disappointed, the Grammy's is the only awards show I like because of the music. Now if we could just get some more elevator musical performances....

Update

Last night we had our first Vision Casting Gathering for Hub City Church. It went great. We had 8 new people who were wanting to find out more about what we're doing. After I shared who we're going to be and what we're going to do I left them with a challenge: I want them to hear from God about it and then do what he says. I can't talk people into being on our launch team. Actually, I tried to scare them away. I want God to speak to people and let them know if this is something that he's calling them to do.

I am so proud of our team and the work they did inviting folks and making people feel welcomed. We're going to do it again in a month, unless there's enough interest, and then we'll do it again sooner. Thanks to everyone who prayed for us.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Post of the week

Before I get to this week's Post of the Week (which I know you've been dying for me to send out) I have to say how excited I am about Hub City Church's vision casting gathering on Sunday night. I am pumped about getting to share with people about what God has called us here to do. Maybe you live in the area and are feeling a nudge right now. Come on Sunday and find out more. Click here for information.

Now, without further adieu... I loved Mark's post about what Rick Warren said about commitment. I also think you should check out Craig's posts on Signs of Immaturity here, here, here and here. They are so relevant to guys who are just starting out.

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Rehab

I know that you've noticed the mass of celebrities entering rehab lately. Brittany Spears has been in and out for months. So has Lindsey Lohan. Now we've got Delta Burke and Spidey's girl MJ checking themselves in to get some help. Honestly, it seems like every day there are new celebrities checking into rehab.

This really saddens me. I think it should sadden all Christ followers. There's such a lack of hope in each of these stories and I am sure it breaks the heart of the Father.

Aren't Christians supposed to be a voice of hope? I think we should exude such hope that celebrities, neighbors, school-mates, friends, whoever come running to us when they need hope. If people you know need hope, do they know to chase you down?

I know it's a bit cliche but these celebrities need Jesus. Can you imagine what might happen if celebrities started to become followers of Jesus? Can you imagine the impact that could have in the entertainment industry, in the sports world, and all over this playground we call earth?

I don't think any famous, or someday-I'm-gonna-be-famous actors or singers regularly read my blog, but if you do then I just want to say, you have an amazing opportunity to bring the hope of Jesus into the hopeless lives of many of your peers. Don't miss out on that opportunity. Let God use you to be salt and light so that we'll be reading stories about celebs going on mission trips instead of rehab trips.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

For the love of Country Music

This is hilarious.

A one sentence disciple

I know that I've blogged a bit about my journey to define what a disciple of Jesus is. This is important because I believe that ultimately God has called us to plant Hub City Church to make disciples. Isn't that the big commission he's given to all of us? But here's my problem. Most people's definitions of what a disciple is are so complex or long or confusing that they aren't helpful. Other people's definitions don't seem to encompass what I observe as I read the Gospels. So I've come up with a simple, one sentence definition of a disciple: Someone who hears from God and then does what he says.

Simple? Yes. Easy? No. This definition is helpful no matter where you are in your relationship with Christ. Jesus said that His sheep will hear his voice. He also said that if we love Him we will do what he says. So there's my two sense. Our discipleship process is going to be teaching people to hear from God and then do what he says.

I'm still thinking through how this works out. Anybody out there have any thoughts they want to add to the discussion? How do you define a disciple?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When to fight

I had lunch today with Kent Smith. Kent is the pastor of River Hills Baptist Church and is one great guy (he even picked up the tab for lunch... all you can eat wings!). He's got a kingdom mindset and a bunch of leadership wisdom that he's willing to pass down... which is good for me because I need as much help as I can get!

He gave an analogy that's worth blogging about (partly for my own processing and partly because it might be helpful to some of my church planting friends). We were talking about vision and being the leader and what issues/decisions are worth fighting about. He said that any decision or idea or opportunity that could change the direction of the ship is worth fighting over. Decisions about how the ship is run or about how to do something on the ship that will still keep it going in the right direction aren't worth fighting over.

As the church planter, I am responsible for the direction of the ship. It's my job to guard and protect the vision. That doesn't mean that I come up with a direction and then take off after it. It does mean that I believe God has revealed a vision about who and what he wants us to be as a church and I am a steward of that vision. Anything that gets us off course, then, is a life or death issue (because obedience is a life or death issue), thus my job is to keep us on course.

So, fight when the direction (vision/revelation) is at stake. But remember, not all battles are direction changing. If you fight over those you become a dictator. It's not your or my job to be a dictator. Leave that to Hugo Chavez. Our job is to protect the vision.

I just had a thought... If we plant a church and it grows big and is the envy of every church planter around, but it's not what God had in mind then I have not been successful. The same could be said of whatever you do with your life. I want to be successful because I was obedient to what God has called me to do. Just a thought.

Anybody out there want to add their thoughts to this discussion? I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Find our more about Hub City Church

Now is the time to find out about Hub City Church. This Sunday, February 10th @ 5:30, we’re going to have an Vision Casting gathering. You can find out about our vision, values, plans, what kind of people we need on our launch team, our favorite colors and all kinds of other really cool stuff.

If you ever wanted to find out about planting a church, what it takes to be on a launch team, or how you can be a part of what God is doing in Spartanburg, then you need to be at this gathering. We’ll have food and child care. We’ll be meeting at 124 Sorrento Dr. in Moore. Click here for directions.

For more information call Jonathan at 313-8173 or e-mail him at hubcitychurch@gmail.com. Please let me know if you’re going to need childcare. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Post of the week

Simplicity. What do you think of when you hear that word? Scott has a great post here on why they value simplicity at his church. I want what we do at Hub City Church to be simple. A couple of great books on this are Simple Church and 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.

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