Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hub City BS

In case you didn't know, Hub City BS (Basic Stuff) is this Sunday and next Sunday (Feb. 28 and March 7). It's where we share all it is that makes Hub City Hub City, things like vision, mission, beliefs, environments, values, why we do what we do, etc. And unlike the final season of Lost, all your questions will be answered... at least we'll try and answer them. At the end we'll share our family covenant and give you a chance to sign it.

But today, as I was preparing for Sunday, going over the content, looking over my notes, I was overwhelmed with how excited I am about Hub City, who we are, and what we're about. Just reviewing everything pumped me up.

I can't wait for Hub City BS. If you've never been a part of a BS before then sign up today.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My heart's cry

This Sunday my Hub Group is going to be looking at Luke 5. There's a ton of great stuff in that chapter, but as I was preparing I came across this verse:

26And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen extraordinary things today."

That's my prayer for anyone who comes into contact with anyone from Hub City Church or for anyone who's a part of anything that Hub City Church does.

What if, after every Hub Group, every worship gathering, every community event, every social event we were seized with amazement and glorifying God and filled with awe and saying "We have seen extraordinary things today." I'm praying for this.

But here's the clincher: We can't do this in our own power or on our own initiative. It's something that God does in us and through us and in spite of us.

I just read this from Francis Chan: When believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in their lives is supernatural. The church cannot help but be different, and the world cannot help but notice.

May we live in the power of the Spirit.

Making the switch

Every once in a while I like to switch which Bible translation I use during my quite time. I made that transition this week to the ESV. It's most definitely a more literal translation and a bit more difficult to read... which is good.

Small changes sometimes help you see things that you've never noticed before. Changing the translation your familiar with gives God new opportunities to speak to you... or at least I find that to be true for me.

We're blessed with tons of translations of the Bible. Why don't you try switching things up.

The main thing, however, is to do whatever it takes to incorporate Bible reading, meditation and memorization into your day. By far, it's the BEST habit you could ever develop.

6 ways to kill your marriage

1. Don't Communicate
2. Forget Your Commitment
3. Be Selfish
4. Ruin the Finances
5. Don't have Sex
6. Don't Work at It

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Church

In The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch defines a church like this:

  1. A covenanted community – a church is formed not by people just hanging out together, but ones bound together in a distinctive bond. There is a certain obligation toward one another formed around covenant.
  2. Centered on Jesus – He is the new covenant with God and he thus forms as the true epicenter of an authentic Christ-ian faith…A covenant community centered around Jesus participates in the salvation that he brings. We receive the grace of God in him. But, more is required to truly constitute a church.
  3. A true encounter with God in Jesus must result in…

  4. Worship, defined as offering our lives back to God through Jesus.
  5. Discipleship, defined as following Jesus and becoming increasingly like him (Christlikeness)
  6. Mission, defined as extending the mission of God through the activities of his people.
So, what do you think? How are we @ Hub City doing?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spiritual growth

One of the best parts of pastoring Hub City Church has been the life change I've seen. It's awesome watching God work in people's lives.

My passion is to continue to help people grow. I want to make mature disciples. I learned something pretty cool and profound about how spiritual growth happens.

Spiritual growth happens through commitments. We make commitments and then we grow. Usually we think we'll grow first, and then we'll make commitments. But it doesn't work that way. We make commitments first, and then we grow.

So what kind of commitment do you need to make today? The commitment to read your Bible on a regular basis? The commitment to learn how to hear God's voice? The commitment to tithe? The commitment to say no to the good things in your life that are crowding out the best things?

On Sunday I asked for a commitment from folks: If you're married, would you commit to invite God into your marriage? If you're single, would you commit to invite God into your future marriage and everything leading up to it?

Bamboo

I learned something about bamboo today. Do you know how to get bamboo to grow? You're about to.

You cut off a piece of bamboo from an existing bamboo tree. You plant it. You water it for a year. And nothing happens. You water it for a second year. And nothing happens. You water it for a third year. And nothing happens. You water it for a fourth year. And nothing happens. You water it for a fifth year. And nothing happens. You water it for a sixth year. And nothing happens.

Most of you would have quit watering by now, wouldn't you.

But in year seven it starts to grow, and when it starts it explodes. Bamboo can grow 90 feet in a week. It can grow three feet overnight.

The story of bamboo encourages me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow pics



Love and War


Every once in a while you read a book and find out it was way more than you expected. This was that kind of book.

There are a lot of great books on marriage out there, but what makes this book unique is its take on marriage, that our individual marriages are part of the grander story of God and that God has a bigger plan for our marriage than us just being happy.

I think that one of the most profound themes to come out of this book for me is that God is going to use my marriage to make me more into the person he's created me to be. I've experienced this, but the Eldredge's are the first ones I've read that actually say that. There are so many other nuggets in this book. I HIGHLY recommend it. If you're married, you need to read it.

This is a book that I will recommend for engaged couples and newlyweds. This is a book that needs to be read and reread.

I'm such a fan of the content of this book that I'm going to have some copies available for sale at Hub City's gathering for the next few weeks. They will be a GREAT compliment to our After Vegas series. Every married couple at Hub City needs to pick up a copy and read it.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An understatement

To say I'm excited about our upcoming series is a gross understatement. I've been wanting to do a series on marriage for a long, long time.

But why do a series on marriage? Especially when we have a church that's 50% single? That's a great question. I'll share two reason.

First, for those who are single, most people go into marriage with no idea what they're getting into. I don't know anyone who goes into marriage knowing what they're doing. Some are more prepared than others, but nobody really knows what they're doing. This series is going to help people be a bit more prepared by talking about the reality of marriage and what it's meant to be.

Second, for the married folks, I don't know anybody who's married who says that their marriage is perfect and that it's not in need of improvement. Actually, when I look around at married couples it seem so me that most folks are struggling. They need hope. They need help. This series is going to extend both of those things.

So here's my challenge to each of you: Make it a priority to attend every week of After Vegas. And bring some people with you. You know somebody who needs some help. You know somebody who wants to get married someday. Bring them.

I also highly recommend you purchase and read this book. We're going to have a few copies for sale, so you can buy one on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Don't eat the mushrooms

After 28 days???

This is unbelievable. A man was pulled from the rubble 28 days after the hurricane in Haiti. I don't know about you, but I believe in angels.

From CNN:

"The man told doctors that someone was bringing him water while he was trapped, but doctors told CNN that he sounded confused and at times appeared to believe he was still under the rubble.

Connelly said the man must have had some water during the past month to have survived, but Connelly wasn't sure how he would have had access to it."

"Reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta said the 28-year-old man was severely dehydrated but that he survived because a man in a white coat brought him water time to time. Officials are checking the veracity of the man's story.

Gupta said the man "must have had water" to survive for nearly four weeks pinned in the rubble."

Monday, February 08, 2010

Need Marriage help?

Please, no oscar nominations. Just come Sunday for help.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Potential

I've been thinking a lot about potential lately. Specifically, I've been thinking about Hub City Church's potential.

I am so convinced, almost to the point of conviction, that we have more potential than we yet realize. I desperately want us to reach our potential.

But I've learned that you can't be passive and reach your potential. It takes a ton of amount of work. It takes every part doing it's part. It takes you. It takes me. It takes more than half-hearted commitment. It takes loving God with all of your strength.

I can't wait to see what God is going to do in and through us. How are you going to be a part of this advancing of God's kingdom on earth? We need you all in.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Can't wait

This Sunday is the last Sunday of Primal. I'm really pumped about closing out the series talking about what it means to love God with all of our strength. I want Hub City Church to be a church that is GREAT at the Great Commandment.

Well, this morning I've been working on the first sermon for our next series, After Vegas. It's going to be a series on marriage for people who are married and for those who one day hope to be married.

Let me just go ahead and tell you, I am going to say some things about marriage that some of you have never heard before. I am going to make you really, really uncomfortable (I'm pretty uncomfortable just preparing). I will probably make some of you mad.

But I am confident that God is going to do something incredible in us over the next month or so that we talk about this. I think God is going to work in you marriage. If you're single, I think God is going to open your eyes to some things so that you'll be way ahead of the curve when you do get married.

Here's what you need to do: First, invite somebody to come. Do you know anybody who's struggling in their marriage? Bring them with you. Do you know somebody who's engaged? Bring them. Do you know somebody who's desperate to get married, but just can't seem to find that soul-mate? BRING THEM.

Seriously, I'm not about growing Hub City. I am about seeing lives and marriages transformed for the better. That IS going to happen during this series. (I can already see it working in my own marriage as I've prepared and planned.)

Second, go out and buy this book. One of the best books, if not the best book, I've ever read on marriage. It's a great compliment to what I'm talking about.

I feel like taking on the world

Was it just me or did anyone else want to stand up and cheer when you saw the preview of next week's Heroes where the puppet guy says to Silar, "But you're one of us," and Silar says, "No, I'm a hero."

Boo Yah. I feel like taking on the world.

And who else thinks Sayid is no longer Sayid, but is Jacob come back to life?

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then that's probably good.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I have a dream

I have a dream. Basically it's the same story, over and over and over again. The context and characters are different, but the story's the same. I used to have the dream on Saturday nights. Then it moved to Friday nights. And then last night (Wednesday) I had the dream.

The basic premise of the dream is that we're having a worship gathering and we have this huge crowd there. All kinds of new people show up. Famous people show up. It's incredible. The place is packed (each dream takes place at a different place). But then everything goes wrong. Either the sound doesn't work, or I forget my sermon, or the band isn't there, or the power goes out or the people who are supposed to be in charge of things (like Frankie and Josh) just don't care.

It's really an awful dream. And I have it all the time.

But here's what I think. I'm not trying to freak anybody out or anything, but I do believe in Spiritual Warfare and I think that these dreams are Satan's way of attacking me, disturbing my sleep and causing me to worry.

And here's why I think that: He's not happy with what God is doing in and through Hub City Church. He's not happy with the life change. And he knows that we have huge potential to make disciples of many, many people. And he doesn't like it.

I think these dreams flow from my holy anticipation of what God might do. You can read a great article on holy anticipation here. I think Hub City has such potential. I think we've got leaders who don't yet know they are leaders. I think we've got ideas that could transform this community that are waiting to be put to action. I think some of our greatest ideas and leaders are in the harvest (in other words, they're not even a part of Hub City or God's family yet).

I would appreciate you praying for my protection when I sleep. But even more so, pray for God to do beyond what we could ask or imagine, in us and through us.

Angels


I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of all the cultural talk on angels. Most of it is a bunch of crap that portrays angels in sissy ways or as pansy, cupid-like fairies.

But at the same time I do know from Scripture that angels are real. Even though this is true, I have never read anything substantial about angels. That's why Dr. David Jeremiah's book intrigued me.

What I love about his book is how biblical it is in it's take on angels (which is really the only way to be). Basically, angels are messengers who work on behalf of God. You probably knew that, but too often we get focused on the angels instead of God, which is a form of idolatry. What Dr. Jeremiah does so well is continue to turn the focus back to God while at the same time exploring all that the Bible has to say about angels.

If you've ever wondered about angels, what they are like, what they do, or anything else, then I highly recommend you take the time to read Angels. It clears up a lot of confusion about angels and paints a Biblically accurate view of these mysterious beings.

This book was provided courtesy of Random House and Multnomah Publishing.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Change

Every once in a while someone will post a comment on this blog or Hub City's blog that's of a post from 1-2 years ago. And since I've long forgotten what I wrote I usually go, "Huh?!?."

First, I am always amazed that anyone would read something I've written. Second, I'm a bit shocked that someone would scroll back though 1-2 years worth of posts. I'd rather watch Judge Judy. And I hate Judge Judy. Third, I am amazed at how I've changed over the years.

This whole change idea got me thinking. I'm glad I've changed. Change is a good thing. Seriously. If God is working in your life then you shouldn't be the same today as you were a year ago. You should be different.

My favorite part of planting Hub City Church has been seeing people's lives change. I've seen a lot of life change. I'm hungry to see more. I'm also hungry to see change happen in my own life.

That's all for now... I think Judge Judy just came on.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pray for Matt

I know a lot of folks suffer from cancer, but Matt's story hits me hard because we're the same age, have the same number of kids, and we're both pastors (albeit his church is a tad bit larger than Hub City). Here's a great article I just read. I'm praying for Matt and his family.

Invasion

If this doesn't make you want to stand up and charge hell with a water pistol, I don't know what will.
What we call "Christianity" is an invasion.
The Kingdom of God is advancing into the kingdom of darkness, a campaign to ransom people and the earth God intended us to rule. For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost. All that was lost. If Christianity seems to you to be having rather less than a remarkable impact on the earth, it is because too many Christians have this idea that we are in a waiting game, that we are basically killing time until Jesus comes back and we all get to go to heaven. We are sitting around like people waiting to catch a flight. That is not what Jesus told us to do; he didn't say, "Now hold tight in those pews and twiddle your holy thumbs, I'll be back soon as I can." He said, "As the Father has sent me, I send you" (John 20:21).
This comes from John and Staci Eldridge's book Love and War.

Weekend Reflections

It was an interesting weekend, to say the least.

The weekend started off GREAT. Liz and I got to get away to The Red Rocker Inn in Black Mountain, NC. We ended up being the only guests that didn't cancel because of the snow, so we had the whole inn to ourselves. We had a very relaxing time, the dinner at the inn was incredible and we can't wait to go back. Thanks to Hub City for the gift.

The snow in NC was beautiful. We got about 9" of the fluffy stuff. I thought it might make travel down the mountain dangerous, but it didn't. Wish we could have stayed another night.

The weird part of the weekend was having to cancel Hub City's worship gathering. We've never had to do that before. It was for the best, but I won't pretend that I liked canceling. Frankie's working on an idea where we might be able to do something online if we have to cancel again.

Finally, last night Jaimee and Allen were gracious enough to let us have Hub Group at their house. Jason brought out the rhyming Bible, we shared communion and Jaimee shared a song. It was good and relaxing and nice to meet in somebody else's house for a week. I'm thankful for our group. If you're not connected in a Hub Group you need to be.

Now it's time to begin a new week. It's a bit slow getting started because of a two hour school delay... and Liz just called saying that sleet is predicted tonight....