Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is my beautiful wife and her twin brother, Matt's, birthday. Like I posted earlier, cash and gift cards are greatly appreciated. :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

For my brother-in-law and sister-in-law

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Random thoughts

  • My lawn mower caught on fire this morning as I was cutting the grass. That was pretty exciting. I think it's time to get a new lawn mower.
  • On another lawn note, I really need someone to aerate my yard. If you could hook me up...
  • Saw I Am Legend last night. It was a great movie that scared me to death. If anyone knows someone who installs sliding steel window covers then have them call me.
  • I've got good news and bad news concerning what I was so excited about this past week. I'll share more when I can put it into words.
  • Coached my first practice for Nathan's soccer team this past Thursday. It's going to be a fun season. I still need an assistant coach, though.
  • Monday is Liz's Birthday. We're about to go buy a present for my amazing wife. In case you're wondering, she loves gift cards and cash.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I know how the Pointer Sisters must have felt

Today was an incredible day! Actually, that is an understatement. I can't share everything now, but God orchestrated something incredible today. I hope to be able to share more tomorrow, but please be praying.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Idol thoughts

I know, I've lost credibility with some of you because I watch American Idol, but David Cook totally rocked tonight. If he doesn't win then the show's rigged.

Vision

I'm not big on devotional booklets. Too many people substitute reading Scripture with some cheesy devotional thought (I hope I didn't offend anyone with that, but be honest, too many "devotions" are just touchy feely cheese.). But we have this one little devotion sitting by the potty that I read every so often and one I read the other day is worth passing on.
"Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled." Habakkuk 2:3 TLB
In the early stages of pregnancy a baby is easier to lose. The same applies to your God-given vision; you need to protect it. The enemy tried to destroy Moses and Jesus before they reached their secon birthday. Why? He feared their future -- and he fears yours too! Furthermore, when a prospective mother is not "showing," she has to go on the word of her physician. Getting the idea? There are certain things you need to do in order to "deliver" what God has promised. When your doctor says, "No smoking, drinking or eating certain foods, etc," he's thinking about your future. "But others can do these things," you say. Yes, but they're not carrying within them what you are. The call to give birth to a vision means daring to be different, even radical: It means disconnecting from relationships that can hurt you, staying out of certain places, and reordering your priorities according to your God-given destiny, not popular consent. If you think fulfilling a vision is easy, check the price tag! Like childbirth, it's hard, it's lonely, it's sleepless, it's appetite-changing, it's schedule-altering. It involves pain and leaves stretch marks. So before you give lip service to, or play around with God's purpose for your life, ask yourself, "Am I ready to carry this thing to full term?" Visions aren't for the immature, the impatient or the faint of heart. And you can't downsize them when things get tough.
Esther's vision meant putting her life on the line and saying, "If I perish, I perish" (Est. 4:16). Did she perish? No, but she had to be willing to. Are you? -The Word for You today March 25.

Plans, plans and more plans

I am pumped about our LTM tonight. We're going to start putting plans on paper for our upcoming Movies in the Park and other events. I've been doing some research on what it's going to take for us to pull off Movies in the Park and it is going to take a lot of hard work, but I think this is one of the most exciting things that we could do in Spartanburg. If you've got a few minutes, pray for us as we plan. Pray that God would grant us favor.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm with famous

My friend Pat linked me in his blog and put me and another famous guy in the same sentence. Funny. You can read it here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Post of the week

This was supposed to go out on Friday, but for some reason it didn't work. But it's here now and worth the read. These are some great posts about marketing. We have so much to learn. Check out Vince's post here and what the top experts say here.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

LTM Recap

I want to thank everyone for a great LTM last night. I know we covered a lot of content, but you hung in there and had some great ideas. I’m excited about us working together to make a difference in Spartanburg.

Here’s a quick recap of what we discussed:

  • Relational networks: College campuses, non-profits (service organizations), sports/rec teams, city groups, civic groups, schools, neighborhoods, work place, YMCA.
  • Direct touches: Block parties, sports camps, movies is the park w/in neighborhoods, neighborhood festival (Halloween), provide food for teacher appreciation, volunteering with Habitat for humanity or the Children’s home, giveaways.
  • Marketing: Web site, blog, billboards, signs, mailers, door hangers, t-shirts, Frisbees, movie trailer.
  • Front door: A worship gathering

For us to be missionaries to Spartanburg we need to spend the majority of our time and resources in relational networks and direct touches.

The direct touches that we decided to focus on are movies in the part (3-4), movies on campus (2-3), volunteering with habitat, Christmas in action and the children’s shelter (possibly renovating an entire home). Thanks for telling me what you want to be involved with. I’ll be contacting you within the week to make a time for teams to meet and begin planning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

More than a relationship

I read something today that shook me up. It comes from Vince Antonucci's (my favorite blogger) new book I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. He says that being a Christian is more than just having a relationship with Jesus. It's about abiding in him, getting lost in him, becoming one with him. I think his best description of what it means to abide is to think about a baby in a mother's womb. Does the baby have a relationship with it's mom? Yes, but it's so much more than that. The baby lives inside its mother. It can't live without its mother. It is totally dependent on its mother.

When I think about my relationship with Jesus I have to ask myself: Do I abide in Jesus as a baby abides in its mother's womb, or do I just have a relationship with Jesus like I have a relationship with my college roommates (who are great guys, whom I have a great relationship with, but who I only talk with once or twice a month... you get the picture... Joe, Joey and John, I love you guys)?

To be honest, "abiding" sound so much fuller and richer than a having a relationship. Go get the book to read more. It's worth it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Easter fun

I know this is a bit sacrilegious, but my father-in-law e-mailed it to me and I had to pass it on.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Intense

I've been at Intensive Church Planter Training from yesterday till tomorrow and it is definitely intense. I loved our discussion about the Kingdom yesterday. What an honor that God allows us to partner with him to build his kingdom. I've got some great quotes that I hope to post later, but this is worth sharing: Attractive churches aren't going to be the catalyst for a movement of God in the US, but attractive followers of Jesus will. So I'm asking this question: How can we create/develop attractive Christians? I want to be a part of a movement that changes lives, changes Spartanburg, changes the world.

The coolest part to doing ICPT this time is having our team with us. These amazing people took off time from work to learn and get prepared for planting Hub City Church. Another cool thing is that I met some planters from Canada and we're considering taking a trip to Calgary to help them out. We'll see what comes of that, but a "world" partnership is a mission piece that we need to help Hub City be a globally focused church.

Friday, March 07, 2008

VCGTS

That's right. VCGTS. That stands for Vision Casting Gathering This Sunday. For those of you who want to find out more about Hub City Church, this Sunday is the time to find out. We'll meet from 5:30-7 here. We'll have supper. If you need child care we'll have that, but you need to contact me because it'll be at a different place that the VCG.

Post of the week

I know, I missed a post of the week last week. Having the flu really threw me off, but today's post is worth it. I totally agree with Seth on this post. We even talked about this at our LTM on Tuesday. Resistance will come. I love the encouragement: Persist.

Another post worth reading is Shawn's on being a healthy leader. You can read it here.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

LTM Report 3/4/08

Man, last night's LTM was exciting!!! We had some great discussion. Here's a recap that I posted over at Hub City's blog:

Last night we spent time discussing this question: How can we be a missionary church that develops missionaries? Everyone had something great to add to our discussion. Here’s an overview:

- Hub City Church is going to be a missional church. That means that everything we do, the money we spend, the groups we partner with, the music we use, the programs we do, and the topics we tackle will all be run through the missional filter: Is this connecting with people, specifically 20-30 somethings, who are not yet Christian?

- We don’t want Hub City Church to be a church that has a “club member” mentality where it’s all about us and where everything we do is about meeting the needs of club members. We are going to do whatever we can to guard against that.

- Just like missionaries in foreign countries contextualize the gospel and the methods to the culture they are trying to reach, so we will contextualize what we do to connect with 20 and 30 somethings in such a way that they want to be a part. This includes using secular songs, media, speaking to real needs, having music that sounds like what people are listening to, hanging out where not yet Christians hang out (as opposed to always wanting them to come to us).

- We talked about a scorecard so that we can measure whether or not we are actually developing missionaries and being missional. Instead of how many people attend or how much money are people giving we want to measure things like: Number of conversations with people who aren’t yet Christians, are our people actively inviting their not yet Christian friends, and the number of people who are participating in local and foreign mission projects.

- Action Steps: One thing we’ll be doing each week is coming up with an action step for people to do in response to what we’ve talked about. This week people signed up to help out with Shamrock’s on the Square on March 15. This is Spartanburg’s annual St. Patrick’s day celebration. We get to volunteer and be missionaries in our community. Don’t you want to be a part? Contact me and I’ll get you signed up to help.

One REALLY cool thing is that we had almost everyone sign up to help with Shamrock's on the Square. I'm really proud of our Launch Team. They stepped up to be missionaries. I can't wait to see how God is going to use us! I heard of definition of serving that I really like: Leveraging your abilities for the good of someone else. That's what we get to do on March 15th. Anybody else out there want to help us out?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Creative invitation

This Sunday we're having another Vision Casting Gathering. It's an opportunity for people to find out about Hub City Church and how they can be a part. It's also a chance for me to try and scare people away from being on the launch team. :)

Our team's been working to invite people who they think might be a good fit on our team. One of our team, Melanie Creel, has that crafty creative bug (that I don't have). She made invitations for people to use. Check it out. Pretty sweet, huh?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Serving Back funny 2

Serving Back funny