Friday, July 31, 2009

Make them wonder what you've got

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A new series beginning this Sunday @ Hub City Church

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reflections on Camp McCall

This past Monday-Wednesday I took the two older boys to Camp McCall for "Lad Camp." We had a blast flying down the Sky Glide Zip Line, going on a creek walk, climbing down into a gorge to play in the Little Waterfall (where the water temp was one degree above freezing), shooting BB guns, and risking our life on the Swing. I'll post some videos when I get them loaded onto youtube.

I just thought I'd record a couple of reflections from out time. First, shared experiences with our kids create memories that can last a lifetime. We got to create a few memories at Camp McCall, but my hope is that those are deposited away into all of our memories so that years from now we can sit back and reminisce, "Remember when...." Second, going to camp forced (not in a bad way) me to spend quantity time with my boys. Quantity time leads to quality time. I think we had some good quality time.

My final observation is kind of sad. I think Camp McCall is great. They have great facilities (even though they are pretty rustic). They have great staff. They have great food. The downfall is that it's an RA camp. Most of you reading this will have no idea what an RA is. It stands for Royal Ambassadors and it is a program within the Southern Baptist Convention for teaching missions to boys. I think it's a GREAT thing to teach missions. I just think that RA's is outdated, especially for new churches like Hub City. I think that McCall could still be a missions and adventure camp, but it would really help to lose the RA label (at least for some of the summer) to make it more relevant to those of us in the church planting world reaching people who are unchurched or dechurched. Camp McCall is too great of a resource and opportunity to let fade away, but I fear it might be headed in that direction if it's focus stays on insiders.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Distraction of destination?

I've had this question running through my mind for the past week: Is your dream a distraction or a destination?

Let me give you a little background on where this is coming from. I saw a church sign last week that says, "Dream big dreams." I'm cool with that. My only concern is if my dreams will get in the way of God's dreams. If so, then my dreams are more of a distraction than a destination... the destination being what God wants, God's agenda, God's purpose.

Then, on Saturday, Liz and I drove through Converse Heights. Not that we could afford to live there, but it's my favorite neighborhood in Spartanburg. It's downtown, diverse, classic. We love to drive around the neighborhood and look at houses that are for sale and dream about what it would be like to live there. If we let it, that dream can become a distraction to us being missionaries in the great neighborhood where God has placed us.

So is your dream a distraction or a destination? If it's a distraction then stop wasting your time. If it's a destination then go after it with passion.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Resources about Human Trafficking

Here are soome sites where you can learn more about the problem of Human Trafficking:

- Not For Sale
- International Justice Mission
- Triad of Hope

Thursday, July 23, 2009

5 questions husbands should ask their wives

Read these on Perry Noble's blog today. Guys, these are GREAT questions for us to ask our wives.

#1 - What is the most romantic thing that I’ve ever done for you?

#2 - What is something fun we can do together?

#3 - What is one thing I can do for you this week that will relieve stress from your life?

#4 - How Can I Pray For You?

#5 - If you could change one thing about our marriage–what would it be?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parenting tips

We've got a number of people expecting kiddos at Hub City. This is exciting. Bring on the babies! I read this from Mark Batterson's blog this AM. It's good stuff.
Here are seven lessons I've learned:

1) Your greatest failures as a parent can turn into your greatest successes IF you simply apologize. You are modeling one of the toughest skills to learn: how to handle mistakes.

2) A great marriage is one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids so focus on your marriage first and your kids second.

3) You create memories via engineering shared experiences. Be intentional about setting shared goals. Become a student of your kids. Learn to love what they love.

4) Parents are prophets. Don't just use your authority to speak correction into their lives. Use your authority to speak encouragement into their lives. Otherwise you will become a prophet of doom.

5) We have a Heavenly Father who compensates for our parental weaknesses. So take a deep breath and relax a little. Even if you're a single parent, you're not alone. God will make up the difference!

6) One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is time. A little one-on-one time opens channels of communication like nothing else. If you hang with them when they are young they'll want to hang with you when you're old.

7) If all else fails, teach your kids to say please, thank you, and sorry. Especially to God.

Worth watching

There's a very disturbing video on this site that talks about Human Trafficking. It's worth watching.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Me love story

Not that you really care all that much, but I've been reading some novels this summer as a change of pace. I love fiction. Let me rephrase that, I love GOOD fiction. Something about being a part of another world through a book is theraputic.

I finished Dan Brown's Angels and Demons two weeks ago. Really liked that book. Very suspenseful. It also gives an interesting take on Christians who take the Bible seriously. I don't agree with the take, but it does show what others think of us. Now that I've read the book I can go see the movie.

Currently I'm reading John Grisham's The Appeal. So far, so good. He does a great job pulling you in. One thing that's really interesting is how positively Christians are portrayed in this book. There's a pastor by the name of Denny Ott who might be one of the best portrayed pastors in any book that I've read that has a pastor.

So have you read any good fiction? Anything that you would recommend? Liz just devoured the Twilight series. That's next on the agenda. I want to be a part of the cultural phenomenon... Liz wants me to become a vampire. :)

Things that make me mad

Usually, I'm a pretty calm, cool and collected guy. But there are a few things that set me off. Injustice is one of the biggies.

Last night Liz and I watched Taken. We're going to be using that movie this Sunday for our God at the Movies series. Part of what was exposed in the movie is the sex trade industry. Not sure if you knew this but there are around 27 million slaves in the world right now. Many of them are sex slaves. This angers me. This should not be.

I just don't understand how you could treat people as property and sell people like you sell ice cream. And then to take somethings that is such an incredible gift (sex) and use it as a weapon... my blood pressure is starting to increase.... This should not be.

If you read the prophets in the Old Testament, over and over again the prophets are rebuking God's people for their injustice. As Rob Bell says, God is on the side of those who are on the underside of power.

I write all this to say that something needs to be done. We need to do something. Not sure what that is, but I'm listening and looking. People aren't property. Sex is not for sale.

Related to that, I heard a couple of years ago that Atlanta is the main hub of the the sex trade in the U.S. That's right down the street. That bothers me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I need ideas

Ok, here's the deal. Some Sundays, when we're gathering for worship, they are showing movies. Like this Sunday, Harry Potter will be speaking in the theater next to me. So, there are people who are coming to the theater to watch a movie instead of coming to the theater to attend our worship gathering (go figure). So here's where I could use your help/suggestions: How can we serve those people, with no strings attached? I'm thinking of some sort of giveway that our greeters could give/offer... like suckers or gum. I need to hear back from you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Challenging

I was challenged by the following blogs written by Bob Roberts. What do you think?

- Conversation with Patrick from Nigeria
- Evaluation-The key to any kind of growth - especially point 3.
- Pastors here-Pastors there

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Living Together First Can Spoil Marriage, Study Finds - Science News | Science

Living Together First Can Spoil Marriage, Study Finds - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News - FOXNews.com

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Seven Pounds


In preparation for this Sunday's, God at the Movies, sermon I watch Seven Pounds. I thought it was a great movie. There are so many connection points in this story. I'd love to hear from you. What did you think of the movie? What kind of connection points did you see where you could talk with someone about who God is and what he's like, or where you could illustrate some spiritual truth? I might use your comments on Sunday, so comment away!

David Crowder*Band Rockumentary 4: Twitter Will Kill You

Hilarious! Frankie, this one's for you!

Our missionary position


Do I have your attention? I'm reading this book right now (thanks to Jaimee letting me borrow it). Once I got past the introduction (all 58 pages of it), I have found it to be a great book. What makes it great is that it makes me think. There are so many quotes that that I could share, but I don't have time to include them all. However, I read this tonight and think you need to read it too... enjoy:
Are you familiar with the missionary position? For those of you who are easily offended, this is your great moment. Just remember: The place where offence is most easily taken is in prison. The church needs to rediscover the Missionary Position, a posture that forces us to look at the world eye-to-eye and face-to-face without turning our backs. The Missionary Position tries to get together with the world in a healing and so-beautiful way. It doesn't view the world as a "market" but as a "mission." Everyone is here on assignment. Everyone is on a mission. Everyone is a missionary. Every Christian has an apostolate to fulfill. Every disciple conveys the good news to the world. (56)

Our missionary position


Did that get your attention? I'm reading this book right now. Once I got past the introduction (all 58 pages of it), I have found it to be a great book. What makes it great is that it makes me think. There are so many quotes that that I could share, but I don't have time to include them all. However, I read this tonight and think you need to read it too... enjoy:
Are you familiar with the missionary position? For those of you who are easily offended, this is your great moment. Just remember: The place where offence is most easily taken is in prison. The church needs to rediscover the Missionary Position, a posture that forces us to look at the world eye-to-eye and face-to-face without turning our backs. The Missionary Position tries to get together with the world in a healing and so-beautiful way. It doesn't view the world as a "market" but as a "mission." Everyone is here on assignment. Everyone is on a mission. Everyone is a missionary. Every Christian has an apostolate to fulfill. Every disciple conveys the good news to the world. (56)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Get more sleep

I read this devotion this morning and wanted to pass it along.
Illness, stress, family problems, job demands, etc., rob us of sleep. And when we constantly run on low battery power it shows up in our attitudes, our relationships and our performance. The Bible says: (1) "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He give sHis beloved sleep." (2) "I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (Ps. 4:8 NKJV). (3) "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet" (Pr. 3:24 NKJV).
Sleep is an act of trust; when you go to sleep the world is in God's hands, not yours. And it will get along very well, even if you're not awake to control things. When you awaken tomorrow morning, just like God giving Israel fresh manna, He will give you the grace needed. Jeremiah said, "After this I awoke and looked around, and my sleep was sweet to me" (Jer. 31.26 NKJV).
Ever tried to pray when you were suffering from sleep deficit? It's hard to do. Before Elijah was able to spend prolonged time in prayer the angel of the Lord made him take not one, but two long naps. Contrast that with the disciples in Gethsemane who couldn't pray because they kept falling asleep. Know what? It's hard to think, feel and act like Jesus when you lack sleep. That's why "He gives His beloved sleep." Maybe the most spiritual thing you could do is get to bed earlier and wake up refreshed so you're ready to fulfill God's purposes for your day.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Don't be lazy

This past Sunday we started a series titled: God at the Movies. The point of the series is to teach us how to do Cultural Exegesis: To figure out what movies are saying so that we can use them as connection points to talk with people about God. Too often we're just lazy and forget that God has placed us where we are, when we are, within the culture we're in, for a reason. And one way to be a good steward of that is to think critically about the expressions of our culture (movies, TV, books, music).

I gave three questions that we should ask of all movies, music, TV, etc.: What does it say? (Everything is saying something. Some is profound. Some profane.) What does it mean? (This is where you see if the Bible has something to say about it. Kind of wish I'd come up with a better second question, but at least it's easy to remember.) How can I use it? (How can we use what the movie is saying as a connection point to talk about who God is and what he's like or to teach/illustrate some kind of spiritual truth.)

This coming Sunday we're going to look at the movie Up. I loved Up. It illustrates some great stuff about community. Can't wait to share.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Read this on Mark Batterson's blog today. It got me thinking, what if we, at Hub City, prayed this this week?
This weekend I proposed a little evangelism experiment. More than any other religious word, the word evangelism conjures up feelings of guilt because so many of us feel like we don't share our faith like we could or should.

Here's the prayer that I've challenged NCCers to pray everyday this week. Can't wait to see how God answers these prayers. Lots of divine appointments waiting to happen this week!

Lord, I pray for an opportunity to share my faith with someone in some way. It’s not up to me to decide who or when or where. But I know why. Because you love them and want a relationship with them. So Lord, surprise me with opportunities to share my faith.

Forgive me for trying to do your job for you. You are the one who convicts of sin. You are the one who draws to Christ. But help me do my part as salt and light. Help me see those opportunities to react compassionately or listen patiently or speak kindly. Through word and deed, help me plant seeds of love in the lives of others. Give me boldness when it’s time to speak. Give me restraint when it’s time to listen. Give me words to say. But more importantly, give me ears to hear.

Lord, help me be sensitive to the prompting of your Holy Spirit so I can see the divine appointments you send my way. Help me not to be afraid of questions I cannot answer. Help me not to be afraid of people’s reactions or rejections.

Lord, help me preach the gospel every day, when necessary, with words.

In Jesus name, amen!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The family... Thanks to Frankie Gentle

Herald-Journal Article

Here's the link to the Herald-Journal article I wrote for yesterday's paper. What's funny is that they didn't include my name on the web site, so I'm wondering if I really wrote it or not?!?!? God's just trying to keep me humble.