Thursday, April 28, 2011

Exercise motivation

This made me laugh. Thought it might motivate some of you to start biking for exercise.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unleashed - A Review

When I first saw this I was excited. I'm a fan of Erwin's books. Unfortunately, this is a book I've previously read. It's a reprint of Erwin's previous book The Barbarian Way.

I loved the Barbarian Way, and since I've already read it I thought about not reading Unleashed. But I changed my mind. Not sure why, but I just started reading and couldn't put the book down.

Basically, Erwin challenges us to leave our civilized faith for a more barbarian way. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I think it is.

On a personal note, this is a book that I needed to read at this moment in my life. It's a book that both encouraged me and challenged me. It helped me see some stuff through a different lens.

All that being said, Unleashed is a book that I would highly recommend. It will challenge you. I will stretch you. And God might just do for you what he did for me. He might just speak to you through this book.

A note to men and dads: You most definitely need to read this book. In a roundabout way it helps with parenting and being a husband.

This book was provided courtesy of booksneeze.com.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why we should stop cutting down trees now!

Reflections on Easter 2011

I want to preface this post with Psalm 115:1 Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness.

Yesterday was an amazing day in the life of Hub City Church. Seriously amazing! We had between 102 and 109 in attendance (we couldn’t agree on our count… math isn’t our strong suit). It was by far our highest attended Sunday ever. We had a TON of first time guests. And we had 6 people say that they were accepting the grace of God for the first time!

It was an exciting day.

And I want to thank you (Hub City family) for what you did to make yesterday a life-changing day for so many. Thank you for praying for your lost friends. Thank you for inviting people. Thank you for fishing for people. I believe that God rewarded our work (which is Biblical… we can’t earn salvation by works, but he does reward us when we do work). It goes back to a value I have: Work like it all depends on you. Pray like it all depends on God. You did that and I am thankful.

But now I’m left asking: Now What?

We had a great day yesterday, but now what?

I know we made a big push leading up to Easter to pray for lost people in our lives and to go out of our way to invite them to Hub City. But I don’t think that needs to be a once or twice a year thing. It needs to be a regular part of our daily life. It’s a part of following Jesus. He said: Follow me and I will show you how to fish for people.

So here’s a challenge to you and myself: I commit to you to continue to pray for the names of your friends that you’ve given me. I want to challenge you to pray for them daily as well. But I want you do do more than pray. The big challenge is that we keep inviting. Last week you went out of you way to try and invite four people. Why not do that this week?

I know many of you invited people who didn’t come. I invited a number of people who didn’t show up. I’m not giving up on them. I want to encourage you to not give up on your friends either. Keep praying for them. Keep inviting them. Who knows what God might do. God doesn’t give up on us.

I believe God has greater things in store for Hub City Church than we could ask or imagine. I believe more than ever that he wants to use you and me to extend the invitation of grace to a hurting and lost world. I also believe that we’re in this together. We ALL have a part to play.

I am so excited to be on this adventure with you. It’s for the glory of God and the good of others. And I can't wait for this coming Sunday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why you should NOT come to our church this Easter

I admit. I stole this from Shawn Lovejoy, but it was too good to not pass along.

There are lots of reasons why you should NOT come to our church this Easter:

You should not come to our church this Easter if you consider yourself a Biblical expert. If you have it all figured out, you simply won’t fit in here.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you’re looking for Hell/Fire & Brimstone preaching. Sorry, none of that here.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you want to “stick out,” be singled out, or called out, as a visitor. We’re just not that kind of church.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you enjoy being around hypocrites. Sorry, our church is a hospital for sinners. We admit that up front. In fact:

You should not come to our church this Easter if you’re perfect. Perfect people are not allowed at our church.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you think you have to wear a suit or dress to be accepted. In fact:

You should not come to our church this Easter if you’re offended by people who dress casually, even at church, on Easter.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you think it’s a sin to laugh at church.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you have all the encouragement you need.

You should not come to our church this Easter if you don’t need hope, grace, relational, emotional, or spiritual help.

If none of these things describe you, however, you are welcome at Hub City Church. See you on Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hearing the voice of God

It's funny, or maybe it's something else, but I was reminded today of how important it is that we hear from God.

Most of the time we're content with hearing about God, when what we really need is to hear from God.

The Bible is filled with people who heard from God. And I'm of the belief that God speaks the same way today.

I read something from Erwin McManus' book Unleashed that I want to paraphrase: When God speaks we have a choice. If we reject his voice and disobey his guidance, our hearts will become hard and our ears dull. And if we continue on that path there will be a day when we will never again hear the voice of God. There may even come a day when we say that God doesn't speak. But if, instead, we listen to and obey the voice of God then our hearts will be soft and our ears will always be able to hear the whisper of God to our souls.

I don't know about you but I desperately need to hear from God. I need him to speak to me. I need him to speak to Liz. I need him to speak to my kids.

And I want Hub City Church to be a people who hears the voice of God.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to turn people away

I read this here and it made me laugh. Had to share:

This Sunday is Easter and when you look around your church you’re going to get that uncomfortable feeling that comes from being around all kinds of people you haven’t seen in a while or perhaps never before. You know, the slackers who only show up at church twice a year, the backsliders who haven’t been to church in 5 years, and the heathens who wouldn’t know the Pentateuch from a pentagram.

They’re going to take your favorite pew, sit and stand at the wrong times during the service, and double your wait in the coffee line after the service. You don’t want to have to put up with those distractions and inconveniences week in and week out, so here are 12 ways to ensure those people don’t come back the week after Easter.

1. Keep to yourself. Avoid eye contact. And by all means don’t welcome anyone you don’t know.

2. Walk up to someone you haven’t seen for a while and say, “Hey, hey… Look who it is… You don’t think just showing up for Easter is going to get you out of the Big Guy’s doghouse, do you?”

3. Make sure all the greeters, ushers, singers, speakers, and everyone involved in leading the service are all of the same ethnic background so that if anyone of a different ethnicity shows up they know they are considered second-class citizens.

4. Take down all your signs so only the regulars know if a door leads to the pastor’s office, the ladies room, or a broom closet.

5. During the service have the pastor pray, “Lord, please forgive all those sinners who have failed to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.”

6. Invite the worst singer in the choir to do a solo.

7. Find a way to tie the Easter message into a soliloquy on the Iraq War and make it clear that everyone who disagrees with the pastor’s position is on the devil’s side.

8. During the service ask all the visitors to stand and then introduce themselves to the entire congregation.

9. Announce that next week the pastor will begin a 12-week series on hell.

10. Put a sign up in the children’s ministry area that indicates you have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to volunteers with criminal records.

11. Just assume that everyone understands what communion is all about. Then when people start coming forward to receive communion have the ushers quietly walk up to the “really big sinners” and ask them to return to their seats.

12. Announce that visitors must fill out a form with their contact information and should expect an elder-evangelist tag team waiting in their driveway when they get home.

Of course, if you actually care about guests and irregular church attenders because you believe they matter to God, you might consider doing just the opposite.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter @ Hub City

The story is told of a group of intellectuals sitting around Oxford discussing what makes Christianity unique when in walks C.S. Lewis. When they posed the question to him he immediately responded: Grace.

Grace. It's the one thing that all of us long for but so rarely extend. It's that thing that sounds too good to be true. It's the most powerful force in the universe.

Beginning this Sunday, April 24, Easter, we're going to be talking about it.

You are invited to join us. Hub City Church. Sundays. 10 AM. Spartan 16 Movie Theater.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Article

You can read my article in today's Herald-Journal here.

The people from All-Saints liked it. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yay!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Powerful song

Two parts

I've been thinking a lot lately about the two parts to being a disciple. Really, they go together and are really just what it means to be a disciple. But we often, unknowingly, separate them and end up missing out on the whole. What the heck am I talking about. Read this:

Mark 1:17 - “Come, follow me,” Jesus said,“and I will send you out to fish for people.”

This is discipleship in a nutshell: Following Jesus and fishing for people.

What I've discover is true of me, and many of you, is we like to focus on one of those things. For me, and for most people I know, we LOVE the following Jesus part. But we think of the fishing for people part as an afterthought.

But they go together.

On a related note, I talked about this in yesterday's sermon. If you were there, I'd love to know your thoughts, but for me, I think it was the best, most powerful sermon I've ever preached. That's probably because I was preaching to me.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I'm an atheist at times

I read this quote today:

Atheism is the thought that nothing good is going to happen here unless I make it happen.

Way too often I think and act this way.

But I don't want to.

How about you? Are you an atheist too?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Four ways to pray fro friends and family

One of the things that I've challenged the Hub City family to do between now and Easter is to be intentional about praying for our friends and family who are far away from God. I talked about it in yesterday's sermon.

This morning I came across this guide for praying for friends and family. I think it's a great reminder and help.


"Pray that the words of Jesus “will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response” (2 Thessalonians 3:1 MSG), just as they did among the early Christians."

Jon Walker

… Stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
Here are four ways your can pray for your friends and family:

1. Pray for an opportunity to talk about Jesus (Colossians 4:3). Ask God to give you an opportunity to tell others about Christ, and to invite them to your small group. God will take you seriously and answer your prayer!

2. Pray for God to prepare hearts. Pastor Rick sometimes asks, “Do you know how God softens hearts? He sends the rain!” Anytime you see someone going through a storm in life, you can know God is softening a heart.

3. Pray for God to tenderize your heart. Ask God to give you a burden, which is just an old-fashioned word that means your heart is tender toward a specific person or group of people.

4. Pray that the words of Jesus will simply take off. Pray that the words of Jesus “will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response” (2 Thessalonians 3:1 MSG), just as they did among the early Christians.