Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Something for the new year

I've been taking some time off from blogging the past week and a half. Maybe later I'll tell you what I've been doing with my time. But I read this passage this morning and think it's a great mindset to have as we start the new year:

This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,

17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And the number is...?

Yesterday, Hub City's entire offering was designated to go to Water Mission International. The numbers have been tallied. The count is in. You gave a total of $687.13!!! If I'm not mistaken, that's the largest offering we've ever taken in. I think that's pretty generous for our small community. Thanks to everyone for giving. What a great opportunity to make a difference in the world.

We're still tallying up the number of first time guests we had during December. We're going to donate $1 for each first time guest to Water Mission International as well.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

In the paper... again!

I thought last week's little snippet was all the free press we were going to get, but there's a big article in today's Herald-Journal about our Advent Conspiracy. Pretty sweet! You can read the article here.

I'm really blown away by God's goodness and how he's provided these opportunities and granted us favor. He's provided another really, really cool opportunity, but I can't tell you about it quite yet.

I need to say to the community of people that make up Hub City Church: You all are awesome! It is an honor to be on this journey with you. Isn't it incredible that God has given us the opportunity to be a part of what he's doing in the world. I consider it a privilege to serve with you. It's great to do this with friends.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Watch this video

If you care at all about people going to heaven or hell then watch this video. Penn is an atheist (as he mentions), but is pretty profound in his comments. Love to know what you think.

We're in a season

Have you ever noticed that life is seasonal? It’s not just Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. All of life is seasonal. I was reading and came across these seasons in the life of a church.

Growth season: This is a time when everything is rosy. Attendance is spiking, giving is on the rise, programs are thriving, and the future looks bright.

Consolidation season: The goal during consolidation is to assimilate and support the people who showed up during all of that growth.

Transition season: This could be the result of staff changes, economic uncertainties, or facility issues that leave people feeling a bit off balance and uncertain.

Malaise season: In this season things are unusually somber, stale, and just plain stuck. There’s no buzz.

Reinvention season: This is when the leader announces that it’s time to put every ministry of the church under the microscope and discern whether it needs a face-life, an overhaul or a funeral—a necessary pruning exercise to make room for future growth.

I think it’s good to remember that life is seasonal. It’s also beneficial to acknowledge what season you’re in so that you don’t get stuck there. Each season is temporary (unless you get stuck—then there may need to be a funeral).

When I look at the above seasons I think we’re in two at the same time. Wanna guess which two?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Read this... seriously

Stop what you're doing and read this article. My prayer is the same as Francis Chan's:

May people see our churches and know that mere human beings could not have created what they experienced. May we seek the priorities of the early church and trust God to once again produce the fruit of the early church.

Hub City Christmas Shindig

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I need your support

That's right, you need to come support me. I'll be a part of a panel discussion tomorrow night (Wednesday) after the viewing of this documentary. It starts at 7:30 at the Hub-Bub downtown. I'm pretty excited about the opportunity, but could use your prayers. I want to represent Jesus well.

Living Rich For Less - a review

Practical. That’s really the best thing I can say about Living Rich for Less. And when I say practical, it’s a good thing, a really good thing. I was blown away time and time again by all of the doable, easily understandable and practical advice. Everything is based on the 10/10/80 principle. Give 10%, save 10% and live on 80%. It’s a great financial plan to live by.

I especially loved the section on giving. I believe generosity should be one of the defining characteristics of Christians. She suggests many creative giving ideas. It’s worth the price of the book just for that section. But the entire book is helpful, relevant and an easy to read reference for the financially illiterate, financially secure and really, anyone who's breathing, so… go buy the book.

I’ve got two copies of this book to give away. I thought about doing a giveaway, but I’ve come up with a better idea. Since my passion is making disciples,I'm going to pass this on to a couple of families as a discipleship tool. So I’m going to give one book to Chris and Michelle for taking care of the church’s finances and leading the elementary stuff. The other book’s going to go to Josh and Kenzie. Josh is our worship leader and is doing a great job. After they read the book and put the info into practice maybe they'll give it away to bless someone else. Just ask nicely!

Friday, December 12, 2008

B-day time

Tomorrow's Nathan's Birthday. He turns 8. Tonight we're having four boys spend the night to celebrate. Liz and I may need prayer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lies Christians Believe about $$$ - part 4

I warning you again, you may not want to read this. I've been talking about Lies Christians believe about money. So far we've discussed Lie #1: It's all ours, and Lie #2: God doesn't care how I spend my money. I think I'll end this series with a doozy, one that's sure to incite, anger and offend. Lie #3: The New Testament doesn't command to tithe so we don't have to do it.

This is harmful on many different levels. First, it also flows out of Lie #1. Second, I think it's a poor handling and understanding of both the Old and New Testament's teaching about money. Jesus did say this. And, there's teaching on generosity all throughout the New Testament. Plus, while there are Old Testament laws that are tossed out (food stuff being a big one), nowhere does the New Testament toss out tithing.

I could write a bunch more on this, but my buddy Vince does a better job. He did a series of posts on this very subject last week. You can read them here, here, here, here, here, and here. It's worth your time.

I'm not hopping to start up an argument with these posts. That's a waste of time, mine and yours. What I am hoping to do is to get all of us to handle God's money God's way. Tithing is a part of that. I also know that in no way, shape or form did I deal with all the lies that Christians believe about money, but this is all I have time to address right now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Root article

Following up the last post, Hub City Church is featured in Root's latest issue regarding Advent Conspiracy. Also, right below the article is a promotion for What would Jesus buy?, a documentary that's going to be shown at Hub-Bub on Dec. 17th @ 7:30. I've been asked to be on a discussion panel after the movie. Pray that I'll be salt and light. And, I'd love to see you there.


Did an interview this AM with Kim Kimzey of the Herald Journal about our Advent Conspiracy. Gotta love free press. If you get a minute I'd appreciate you saying a prayer for the article. Pray that God will use it.

Lies Christians Believe about $$$ - part 3

Yesterday I shared that the first lie that Christians believe about money is this: It's all mine. Here's Lie #2: How I spend my money doesn't matter to God.

Obviously, this lie builds off of Lie #1, but it needs to be called out. God does care how we spend His money. After all, it's His. And Jesus says this about how spending our money an indicator of the condition of our hearts.

Here's where this hits the road for me. I am convinced that if Christians would start handling God's money God's way then in one year we could evangelize the entire world, end poverty, provide homes for all the orphans in the world, give everyone clean water and much, much more.

Can you imagine? If Christians were the ones to step up and end poverty, adopt all the orphans and provide clean water for the entire world, can you imagine the reputation we would have? Can you imagine the influence we would have? Can you imagine how many opportunities we'd have to share the Gospel?

In one year we could change the world. But we, as Americans, think that our money is ours and we can spend it however we want... even when we're richer than 96% of the world's population. Even when there's such death, loneliness and spiritual need. Wouldn't it be cool to do something about that?

Then we can't believe the lie that we can spend our money any way we want. We need to figure out how to handle money God's way.

Warning: You may not want to read tomorrow's post. Just letting you know.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Lies Christians Believe about $$$ - part 2

So, what lies do Christians believe about money? Lie #1: It's all mine.

This is a big one. I actually think it may be at the root of whole issue. We live like, spend, and believe that our money is really our money. I hate to burst your bubble, but your money's not yours. Psalm 24:1 says, The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The world and all who live in it. That's just one of the verses in Scripture that talks about this.

Nothing we have is ours. It's all a gift that God's given us. All of it: Money, house, cars, stuff, the junk we own, those china dishes that you got at your wedding that you never use, your baseball card collection, your retirement savings, your video games, your income... it's all His.

But He's given it to you so that you can be a steward (one who manages another person's property or financial affairs).

Why do we act like it's ours? Because we're selfish... and by-gosh-darnit, we're American! But it's His. That's the starting point to fighting the lies. It's all His.

Which leads to Lie #2... but that's tomorrow's post. Until then, order and read this book.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lies Christians Believe about $$$ - part 1

I'm privileged to be able to get free books every once in a while if I promise to blog about them. Well, I got this book in the mail last week and started reading it today. It's very entertaining and I look forward to blogging about it in a couple of weeks. But it got me thinking about money.

I'm going to do a few posts on lies that Christians believe about money. This may develop into a series in the Spring. I'll warn you: I am sure this post will offend some people. Some of you may feel guilty. Somebody may want to egg my house (I shoot back... I promise). My goal is not to offend, make you feel guilty or get my house dirty.

I have strong feelings and convictions about this topic. I think that money, the way we spend money, our attitudes towards money and money's influence and power in our culture are important. I believe that this one issue does more to stunt our discipleship that almost anything else.

So, what lies to Christians believe about money? Come back tomorrow for Lie #1.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Video

I'm really excited about this series. Hub City Church is doing something about the lack of clean water. We're partnering with Water Mission International by giving $1 for every first time guest at our gathering and by giving away our ENTIRE offering from December 21. It's all going to Water Mission International to help develop clean water systems for those who are without. Join the conspiracy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

I am really pumped about what Hub City Church is doing this Christmas season.

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?


We, as a community, want to make a tangible difference in the world this Christmas. So here's the plan. We are going to donate $1 on behalf of every first time guest who attends our Gathering to the Water Missions International. Then on Sunday December 21, we are going to give our ENTIRE offering away to Water Missions International.

Christmas is a time when we remember the extreme generosity of our Heavenly Father as he sent his son to earth. We're conspiring to do our part to model extreme generosity as well.

So, who are you going to invite? Come to our gathering. Do good. What are you going to give? More info to come.

Matthew's Big Night

Last night was Matthew's big night. He was recognized at the Spartanburg District 5 offices and the Holiday Card Winning Artist. That's his artwork on the screen in the background. It was really cool. The school board made a big deal of him. He got a savings bond, his original artwork will be framed and hung at his school, River Ridge, and the artwork will be on all of the Christmas cards that the district sends out. I'm very proud of him! If you're wondering, the people in the picture are the River Ridge principal (Glenda Bigby), his art teacher (Lorie Goode, who went to High School with Liz), chairman of the school board (Butch Coan), and the District 5 Superintendent (Scott Turner).

I've got to brag on Matthew a bit. His art went up against students in Kindergarten through sixth grade from all of the elementary schools in District 5. And, as a kindergardener, he won! That's really cool! Check out the detail on his train (if you can). I was really impressed. I knew he was creative, but he came up with this all by himself. Matthew is a very talented little boy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whoa times 3

This quote from Francis Chan is so good: “I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered.”

May I, may Hub City Church, may we not only take the words of Christ literally and seriously, but may our lives reflect it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

7 "C's" of Leadership

I'm almost finished with Seth Godin's book, Tribes. It's a great little read with a ton of wisdom. On page 126 he lists out The Elements of Leadership. I wanted to pass them on as an encouragement for you to lead and a reminder for me.
  1. Leaders challenge the status quo.
  2. Leaders create a culture around their goal and involve others in that culture.
  3. Leaders have an extraordinary amount of curiosity about the world they're trying to change.
  4. Leaders use charisma (in a variety of forms) to atract adn motivate followers.
  5. Leaders communicate their vision of the future.
  6. Leaders commit to a vision and make decisions based on that commitment.
  7. Leaders connect their followers to one another.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I support this :)

I feel a sermon in the making... check this out.

Thought on Dream

We're in the middle of this two week series that we're calling Dream. The premise behind the series is this question: If God had a dream for the church, what would it be? We're looking at Acts 2, the story of the church's beginning, to find the answer.

This AM I read a quote by Henry Blackaby that I wanted to pass on. It has to do with the Church. Enjoy:
God established each church as a body of Christ, so that He could continue His redemptive work in the world. When Christ is allowed to function as Head of His church, God can use the body to carry out His will. Is your church working to show the entire earth that Christ is the Head of all things? He also include this prayer: Preeminent Lord of all the earth, mold your church, to reflect You so that Your will may be carried out throughout the world. Oh, Image of the invisible God, start the work of molding with me. Amen.

I got me thinking and maybe it'll get you thinking as well. We want Christ to be the head of Hub City. It's his church. We're the body. He's the head. We also want Hub City to reflect Jesus so that his will is carried out in Spartanburg and around the world.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Yesterday was a great day. We had our first baptisms as a new church! We had the privilege of baptizing 3 people(all of whom were males!), one of whom just happened to be my son. It was a special moment for me and for our church. I've got to tell you, the water in the baptistry that we used was about 33 degrees. They didn't turn the heater on until it was too late and boy was it chilly. Definitely an experience to remember. One thing that made it special was that we moved all the chairs out of the choir loft (we did the baptism at Arcadia First... they were awesome to let us use their facility), and hand everyone gather up close, around the baptistry. It was really cool. People cheered, clapped and cried. I think it was a monumental day in the life of Hub City Church. I can't wait for the next one. Here's a picture of Nathan coming out of the freezing cold water!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two pieces of good news

I've got two peices of really good news to share. First, as some of you know, Liz interviewed for the Clinical Unit Educator's position for Hospice/Home Health this past week. Well, we found out yesterday that she got the job. I am SO proud of Liz. She is amazing and is going to do a great job in her new position. I am so thankful for her.

Second, we just got a call from Matthew's (my second son) art teacher (he's in kindergarten). He designed/drew/created a Christmas card in art. It was sent in with cards from all of the elementary schools in District 5, and out of ALL of the cards, from ALL of the kids, in ALL of the elementary schools in District 5, his was chosen as the winner of the District 5 Christmas card!!!!!!!! It will go out to 2000+ businesses, he'll get a savings bond and be recognized at the district board meeting. I am so proud of him. He is so creative! I'll post the picture as soon as I get a copy so you'll be able to enjoy the masterpiece along with me and district 5. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shut it off

I read this on Tony's blog this AM: Most people in our culture do not know when to stop using technology and start focusing on the person in front of them.

This comes from an interview he did with the author of this book (which I think I would really love to read... hint, hint).

There was something in me that really went "ding, ding, ding" when I read this. We're always checking text messages, staring at our computer, answering our cell phone, doing something instead of giving our full attention to the person in front of us. I need to become better at this. Maybe you do too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We need you!

I listen to a variety of podcasts on an on and off basis. Lately I've been listening to Matt Chandler from The Village Church. God's really been speaking to me through him. The following quote (I've tried to get it correct) is from a sermon (the sermon title is 39 Weeks) he did using Romans 12 as a text. Read it over and share your thoughts.

In order for me to be all that I'm supposed to be, I need you. In order for you to be what you were meant to be, you need me. In order for us to be all that we need to be in this city and this world for His kingdom then we desperately need one another. We need each other. Let me say it this way: The more spectators we have here the weaker we are. The more people we have who come week after week after week with no intention of anything more than hearing songs and sitting down, the weaker we are. I think this is a Bible-belt issue, but there's a big difference between going to church and belonging to a church. There's not a lot of Scripture that commands you to go to church. There are tons that talk about belonging to a church. It's really hard for you to grow into who you need to grow into without the relationships and sacrificial service of belonging to a place. And for the record, I don't care if it's here or not.

These words really spoke to me because my passion for Hub City is that it's not a church you go to, but a community to be a part of, a people/movement to belong to and we need each other. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear comments for, against, or otherwise.

The Process - part 4

My passion and our church's mission is to make disciples who make disciples. But that doesn't just happen. It's a process. It's a relational process. Our Discipleship Process involves diagnosing where someone is at and then inviting them to the next stage... and it all happens within relationships. In other words, what I'm sharing with you is relationship based, not knowledge based. Here's the second level:


I think the best description I can give you is to quote from this book (which you need to read): Connect-level people are those who have moved into a group led by a Disciple-level person (we'll talk about the disciple-level later). The are in a relational environment for the purpose of discipleship. These groups have act as little churches. People learn from one another and love each other while helping to take care of the needs of the group.

It's all about being connected in intentional relationships for the purpose of discipleship. It's not small groups or Sunday school, even though it could be. It must be an intentional discipling relationship.

Are you connected? At Hub City, our Hub Groups are our relational environments for intentional discipleship. We've got a place for you to connect.

FYI: Most Christians in America stay at this level and never move on to being disciples, but there are two more levels in our process.


This article is worth reading.

Grill and Chill

This Sunday, after worship at Spartan 16, we're going to head over to Arcadia First for our first Grill and Chill. We'll eat, hang out and get to know one another. Hub City is providing the Hot Dogs, Chili, buns and condiments. You bring a side, drink or dessert. Bring a friend or two or three with you!

After we eat we're going to be having our first baptisms. It's going to be a party!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Process - part 2

I'm doing this blog-series on our Discipleship Process. The reason why is that my passion and Hub City's passion is to make disciples who make disciples. Over the next few days I'm going to share with you our Discipleship Process. In essence, what I'll be sharing is a ruler/measuring stick for discovering where you are, or someone else is, and where you or they need to go next. It's boiled down to four stages.

Now, before I tell you what the four stages are I need to say that being in a lower stage isn't a bad thing. What's bad is if we stay at that stage and refuse to take the next step in the process. Also, it's not like you can make it past one stage and then you can check that off. Sometimes we slip back. Sometimes we'll have one part of our life in one stage and another part in another stage... thus the reason for calling this a process. Being a disciple of Jesus is a process.

So, let me begin by giving you the stages and in my next few posts I'll start defining each stage.
  • Share
  • Connect
  • Minister
  • Disciple
Tune in next time for part 3.

The Process - part 3

My passion and our church's mission is to make disciples who make disciples. But that doesn't just happen. It's a process. It's a relational process. Our Discipleship Process involves diagnosing where someone is at and then inviting them to the next stage... and it all happens within relationships. In other words, what I'm sharing with you is relationship based, not knowledge based. Here's the first stage:


Share level people are those who have either not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior or have accepted Him but have not been connected into intentional discipling relationships with other believers. We passionately want people who are at this level to hear and understand the Gospel and commit to be disciples of Jesus. We then want to see them get connected into intentional relationship for the purpose of discipleship. Everyone needs to be connected because everyone needs to be discipled.

Like I said, there's nothing wrong with being in this level unless you stay there. God's passion is that we become disciples of Jesus who make disciples, and that won't happen if you just stay at a Share level but this is where we all start off.

Tune in next time for Level 2 (that sounds like something from Heroes.)

PS: For more on this you should read this book.

The Process - part 1

Our church's mission is to make disciples who make disciples. If you boil it down, that's my passion too. I want to see people who are far away from God, people who are anti-God, people who are anti-church, people who've been Christians for a long time, all people, become disciples of Jesus who make other disciples.

Disciple making is messy business. I'm messy, you're messy, everybody's messy. It was messy for Jesus. I mean, have you ever notice how many times the disciples just didn't get it? Even Jesus' closest friends abandoned him when things got tough. But as the discipler, Jesus never gave up on his disciples. He also was passionate about making disciples who make disciples (check this out).

So this week I'm going to be doing another blog-series. Hip, hip, horray!!! It's going to be a discipleship series... actually, it's going to be a discipleship process series. I'm going to share our church's discipleship process. It's like a ruler, a measuring stick, to discern where you are (and I am) and then what's next. So what's our discipleship process? Check back tomorrow to find out.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Things I prayed for our church community this week

All week I've been praying this for our church (by church I mean the people, the body, that make up our Hub City community). Just wanted to share and be an encouragement to our church and to encourage you to pray this for your family, small group and church. It comes straight from Ephesians 3:14-21.
  • I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources God will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
  • I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
  • I pray that your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
  • I pray that you may have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
  • I pray that you may experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
  • I pray that God will be glorified through Hub City Church.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Three things you should pray - Part 3

Here it is, the final installment of my first ever blog-series. I'm sharing three things you should pray so that you will be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God in and through you. A big thanks goes to Craig for shaking me up with these prayers in his book It. May you and I be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God. Our first prayer was Lord, Stretch me. Our second prayer was Lord, Ruin me. The third prayer is:

Lord, Heal me.

All of us are broken. Most of us are just in denial about it. We need God to heal us. We need God to reach down into our brokenness and heal the wounds that keep us from being overwhelmed and overcome by his presence and power. Will you be honest with yourself for a moment? Do you have a hard time trusting? Have you been burned by church members and find it difficult to have friends? Are you distant from your spouse? Do people tell you that you're a control freak? Do you find yourself on a high wen people brag on you and a low when they criticize you? Do you feel good about yourself when your ministry is growing a depressed when it is not? Do you have a secret sin? Or a fantasy life? Are you overly critical or jealous? Do you feel like you never quite measure up (185)? Ask God to heal you.

I pray that God is stretching you. And I pray that he will ruin you. I also pray that he will heal you. I wouldn't mind you praying the same for me.

Three things you should pray - Part 2

This is the second installment of my first blog-series. I'm sharing three things you should pray so that you can put yourself in a position to be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God in and through you. As I said yesterday, this comes from Craig's book It. I'm sharing this because I desperately want all of us to be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God. Yesterday's prayer was Lord, Stretch me. Here's today's:

Lord, Ruin me.

Now that's a bit disturbing, isn't it? To be honest, I don't like this prayer, but we find all throughout Scripture that God honors and blesses broken and ruined people. Craig says, Let God crush you with a burden (180). Ask God to ruin you. Expose yourself to something that you know will move you. Don't shrink back. Don't fight your emotions. Don't lay another brick atop your self-made wall of protection. Give in to the heart. Feed the hurt. Let it bother you. Invite it to overtake you (183).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Three things you should pray - Part 1

Today I'm beginning a three part blog-series on things you should pray if you want to be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God. I'm passing on what I have learned from Craig Groeschel in his book It because it's worth sharing. If you were at Catalyst, you heard him talk about each of these. I'm also passing this along because not only do I want to be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God in and through my life, but I want that for each of you as well. So here we go:

Lord, Stretch me.

Sounds simple, right? But in reality it's anything but simple. We don't want to be stretched. We want to be comfortable. But if you want to be overwhelmed and overcome by the presence and power of God in and through your life then you're not going to be comfortable. God is going to have to stretch you. So why not ask Him to do it?

Craig says, God wants to stretch you. He wants you to live by faith, to believe in him. It will mean putting yourself in new environments. Experiencing something new. Something different. Ask God to stretch you. Then follow his direction (178).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election thoughts

Campaign length... too long.
Time it took to vote... 55 minutes.
Being a part of the process... Priceless!

There's been a lot of excitement, anger, anticipation, "hope", and interest in this year's presidential election. I love having the opportunity to be a part of the process. I had to wait longer than I've ever waited before, but 55 minutes compared to 2 or 3 hours isn't that bad.

There's also been a ton of concern from Christians about the possible outcome of the election (either way). Many are worried/concerned/elated/militant/(place your description here_____). I just want to send out a quick reminder to everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus.

Our hope is not in a political candidate or party. Our hope is in Jesus. We are not citizens of this world. We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. For some reason, the Church is exploding in countries that don't have the rights, prosperity or freedoms that we have in America. The roots of the problems in our country are heart issues and no candidate or party can fix heart problems. Only Jesus can, so put your hope in him. Pledge your allegiance to Him. Then live like it. Let your faith in Jesus motivate you to be the agent of change. Let your faith in Jesus cause you to be the solution to poverty. Let your faith in Jesus kill the consumerism that's gotten us into the financial crisis that we're in. Let your faith in Jesus be seen, lived out, and noticeable.

The Church is to be the hope of the world because the Church is the bride of Christ. The Church is supposed to be the reflection of Jesus on earth. The church should be spearheading change. The Church should be making a difference because it is the hands and feet of Jesus. Let's make sure we're investing in the only movement that's really going to produce change.

So, should you vote? By all means, YES. It's a privilege and a duty. But remember who the real King is. Remember who ultimately changes lives, cultures, economies, societies, and hearts. And be grateful that you get to be a part of the process.

Today is the day... vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008

My hat is in the ring!

I put this off for long enough, but the groundswell of support was to much for me to say no to. Here's the announcement.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Just finished reading It. In a few simple words, you need to read it. You especially need to read the last two chapters. I need to reread them. Not many books speak to my soul, but this did in a profound way. It has changed the way I pray for our team, our church and me. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's up to us

Leading The Charge by Cameron Strang

Let’s get this out of the way up front: I’m not a politically motivated person. Which is why I felt a tad out of place meeting with Barack Obama this summer. And talking to John McCain. And doing countless interviews about the faith and shifting political views of our generation.

Yet I have unwittingly found myself thrust into the political arena, a place where people are vehemently passionate about their ideologies and platforms. It’s an entire industry built around being right and proving your opponent wrong, and winning at any cost. It’s a continual power struggle and—from my humble vantage point—seems a bit flawed.

I’m someone who tries to think independently and objectively, rather than simply follow what the pundits tell me to think. Because of that, I’ve realized I cannot fully embrace either political party. Both sides of the aisle have some great ideas and goals. But both also have areas where they simply get it wrong.

I know the power of politics and the importance of the process in our world. But I also know that, historically, real, lasting change has started first at the grassroots level long before it was ever legislated. Cultural mindshifts influence Washington, not the other way around.
Many Christians traditionally have voted Republican because of their justifiable conviction to protect the lives of the unborn. Now, many younger Christians are voting Democrat because of their justifiable desire to see our nation, the most prosperous in the world, address issues of poverty, global aid and the environment.

The problem is, many Christians vote these convictions, but that’s largely where their personal involvement in the issues stops. Are the government leaders we vote for meant to do our job for us?

If God has given you a heart for the poor, or to see a reduction in the number of abortions, or to promote peace, or to help the sick, or to stand for strong moral values, or to be a better steward of the environment, then your personal focus needs to be on that—whether or not the President shares your same values.

The Bible reminds us to pray for our leaders, but it also talks about praying for those who persecute us. Though I can’t foresee any situation where this would be the case, what if one day every value Christians stand for, even religious freedom itself, was legislatively removed? Christians in China and many other parts of the world face this reality every day. Would it change us?

Dare I say, it might actually spur the Body of Christ here into greater action. Could it be that the loss of religious freedoms would ultimately be the best thing for American Christians because it would cause us to stand on our own feet rather than relying on the government to legislate our faith and values for us?

I’ve heard that only 5 percent of people who attend church regularly actually serve in any way. I’ve read that if every Christian in America actually tithed 10 percent of their income, we would have enough financial resources to wipe out global poverty.

There’s more power lying dormant in pews around the nation than any government could hope to provide, and that’s where our focus should be.

Many Christians want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but I don’t hear nearly as many leading the charge on a national adoption movement. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, where are all of those babies going to end up? Christians should be focused on personal action regardless of legislation, not just waiting for the right number of Supreme Court justices to come along.

I’m not saying don’t vote. Do. Vote your convictions and let your voice be heard—that’s one of the perks of living in a democracy. But don’t let politics breed division, or make you see people in a different light.

If you have a passion for an issue, rather than judging someone who doesn’t share that passion or viewpoint, just go do something about it. Give your life to it. Be the change you want to see.

We need to pray for our leaders and our country, but always remember that our leaders and country do not define us. We are the generation that will shape the direction culture, government and social action will take in the next 50 years. It’s not up to Washington, it’s up to us—and I say it’s time we step up and lead the charge.

But that means with our lives, our finances and our actions every day. Not just Nov. 4.

I resonate so much with this article by Cameron. What do you think?


I'm not sure who said this, but I was listening to the church planting podcast the other day and heard this: "New churches need to pass the Catacombs Test: If it can't be done if the church has to go underground then it's a non-essential."

This really has me thinking and goes right along with Hub City's desire to keep it simple. We think we need so much to do church when all we really need is to be the church.

Our mission/vision/strategy/process for discipleship is - We exist to make disciples who make disciples by creating a church that 20 and 30 somethings want to be a part of where they can hear from God and do what he says. We don't need bells and whistles to pull this off. We don't need a lot of money to pull this off. We just need intentional relationships, the Bible and the Spirit.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We were never commanded to plant churches, but to make disciples. Most western models of church planting are tied to raising up “preachers” to plant churches. We will never get to movement like that. Instead, if we focus on creating a different kind of disciple, not only will we get a different kind of church, but a lot more of them. - Bob Roberts on Glocalnet Blog

Monday, October 20, 2008

For the "Laird."

I'm 2

Today is Levi's second birthday. Happy Birthday to Levi. I'll post some pictures from his B-day party sometime this week for all of our family.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The progression of making a birthday cake

5 Things I'm Praying

I love the book of Acts and in chapter 2:42-47 there are 5 things that I'm praying. I just wanted to share them so that you could pray along with me.
  1. I'm praying that us, as believers, will be devoted to God's Word, to spending time together, and to each other (Acts 2:42).
  2. I'm praying that because of people's commitment, everyone will be blown away by what God is doing (Acts 2:43).
  3. I'm praying that we would be so committed to each other that if someone has a need, someone else will sell something and give the money to them. That we will be so generous that eventually no one will have any needs (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34).
  4. I'm praying that we will spend time with each other in our homes, playing, having fun (Acts 2:46).
  5. I'm praying that God will give us favor with people, and that they will beg to be a part. That others will see what we have and want it. That they will see what we're doing and want to be a part. That people will be saved every day (2:47).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Purpose series intro

We're beginning a new series this Sunday. I believe that the content to this series has the potential to completely reshape how you think about God, your life and what your life is about. Frankie did a "phenom" job on the intro.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Enemies of Unity

Like I said in an earlier post, I really, really loved Dave Ramsey's talk at Catalyst. I think it is so relevant to any person involved in any kind of Kingdom endeavor because we have an enemy who "comes to steal, kill and destroy." God really spoke to me through this talk and Dave had some great notes that I wanted to pass on. I know it's a long post, but it will definitely be worth your time (and I need to review).

Few Churches or organizations experience real unity. Only when you're on the same page do you get things done. Genesis 11:5 (interesting passage) shows the amazing power of unity. Most of our organizations do not achieve their full potential because they aren't unified.

The 5 main enemies of unity:

1. Poor Communication
  • Poor communication can take many forms, but when the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, strife sets in. You have to create communication. You must work at it.
2. Gossip
  • STOP IT!!! Gossip is degrading and will destroy a church or organization. Gossip is on the same list as sleeping with people you're not married to, homosexuality and other "big" sins. Have a zero tolerance for gossip because it destroys what you are trying to do together.
  • A successful leader develops and maintains a culture in which negatives are handed up and positives are handed down. Don't talk to people about a problem that they can do nothing about.
  • Be definition, gossip is when a negative is discussed with anyone who can't help solve the problem.
3. Unresolved disagreements
  • DEAL WITH IT!!! Unresolved disagreements happen when a leader doesn't know they exist or when that leader avoids confrontation. A leader has to have a backbone. Avoiding confrontation is wimpy.
  • A little confrontation cleanses the wound and allows the parties to go forward in a spirit of unity.
  • When you are aware there are hurt feelings and/or disagreements, act quickly and decisively. An indecisive leader is not a leader.
4. Lack of shared purpose
  • Lack of shared purpose is caused when the leader doesn't restate the goal, the vision and mission early and often.
5. Sanctioned Incompetence
  • It has been said that sanctioned incompetence demoralizes. Deal with incompetence.
  • Team members will eventually become demotivated when someone else on the team can't or won't do their job and a leader will not take action.
For the sake of unity in the entire group, the leader must go to battle early and often with any of these enemies of unity. When unity is valued in the culture, the team will also act to keep these enemies from the gate.

Thoughts on the past few days

First, I want to give a shout out to Frankie who spoke/taught for the first time yesterday. He did a great job. I'm looking forward to him doing it again... soon! We had a great crowd.

Our Hub Group last night was really good. We has some great, real discussion.

Catalyst was great last week. Thanks to Pat and Kevin, Frankie and I could go together. I love learning. Personally, I thought Seth Godin and Dave Ramsey had the most relevant talks to my life. Dave's talk was on the 5 enemies to unity. I'll post more on it later, but it was powerful. And we came away with like 5 free books! Love free stuff!

Built a bunk bed on Saturday... well, I should say I assembled a bunk bed on Saturday. The boys helped. They actually did more work than me.

Levi turns 2 in one week. I can't believe he's going to be two.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I forgot to tell you about this

I can't believe it's Wednesday and I haven't shared this. Well, here it is. The past few weeks we've been collecting diapers, wipes and gift cards to give to this local family that is in need. We had a ton of stuff come in. It was cool watching people come to our gathering carrying diapers. But not only did we collect that stuff, but we gave our entire offering away from this past Sunday to help them with medical bills.

Wanna know how much you gave? Here it is: $609. That's incredible. We're a tiny new church, but people gave $609 this past Sunday for us to give away to meet a need.

Thanks to everyone who gave. We'll be doing this again.

Off we go

I'm pretty excited to be going to Catalyst tomorrow and Friday. Thanks to some extremely generous friends both Frankie and I will be able to experience an amazing leadership conference together. I'm praying that our brains will be as sponges, soaking up, drinking in, and devouring all the learning that we can.

Speaking of Frankie. I know he would appreciate your prayers... even if you don't know him. He's going to be preaching at Hub City's gathering on Sunday. It's his first time, but I've been working to coach him and he's got some great content. He's going to do great. (If he doesn't I'm going to punch him in the throat!). No, seriously, I think it will be a great morning and it's a great opportunity for me to invest in developing him into an incredible communicator. :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

MUST READ (for guys)

Calling all teenage and college-aged guys. Stop what you're doing right now and go buy this book. Read it. Read it again (it's funny and short and has pictures). Then go buy copies for all of your friends who are guys. This tiny little book holds a wealth of insight into that all-confusing, sometimes frustrating mind of... girls.

If you could find a manual for understanding the opposite sex, would you read it? I'm almost 100% positive that you would. Well, this is that manual. I can't wait for my boys to read this when they are about 13 or 14 (or for Matthew, 7).

I know this book is called For Young Men Only, but seriously, I think this is a book for all guys. If I could have read this back in High School it would have been more than helpful.

I got two extra copies to give away. One I gave away to a friend of mine in his twenties. He said it has revolutionized his life. I know those are strong words, but aren't you just a bit curious? It's worth the investment of money and time. Go to for more info. I still have one more copy to give away. Shoot me a comment if you're interested.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Great reminder

I came across this quote from C.S.Lewis last night. I've read it before, but thought it worth passing on:
Christ says, 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down.... Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked-the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: My own will shall become yours. (Mere Christianity, 167)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

National recognition

I know this is really crazy, but you need to go here and listen to Joseph Michelli's podcast titled "Opportunity on Uncommon Ground."

I was blown away and honored to be the focus of the podcast.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What I'm learning about being a disciple.

Our small group/Hub Group is spending this coming year studying the life of Jesus. Actually, all of our Hub Groups are studying the same thing. What we're doing is going through Jesus' life, looking at stories and learning how to be a disciple and how to disciple. Today I spent some time reflecting on our first two weeks and what God is teaching me about being a disciple.

We first looked at this story and then at this story. So far, here's what I'm learning about being a disciple. It boils down to three things:
  1. Hearing Jesus' voice.
  2. Trusting he knows better than me.
  3. Doing what he says/obedience.
This leads me to ask two types of questions.
  1. Am I hearing from Jesus, trusting him and doing what he says?
  2. Am I helping others to hear from Jesus, trust him and do what he says?
That's just a bit of what I'm learning about being a disciple. I'm sure there will be more to come.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meeting a need

So, last week, we began this project where we are adopting this local family who needs some help. The husband has cancer, the wife is due any day now with their second child, and both are out of work. What we're doing is collecting diapers, wipes and giftcards to give to them to help them out. I was blown away to see so many people bring diapers and wipes this past Sunday. I had a girl ask if she could run to Walmart right after the gathering and buy a gift card for the family. I can't wait to see what folks are going to do this week.

Here's the coolest part of what we're doing. Next Sunday we are going to give our ENTIRE offering to this family to help with medical bills and other expenses. ALL of it. If we take in $70, we'll give that. If we take in $70,000, we'll give that. I can't wait to see what people are going to do. And all of this in just our third week of having a Sunday gathering.

Thanks to everyone who has helped and who is going to help. There's still time to contribute.

Just gotta laugh

If you ever fly or travel in any way then you know of certain frustrations that you face at airports and hotels. This post by Seth just made me laugh. I love his questions.

On a completely different note, our second Sunday was pretty incredible. Not that it matters, but we had a 22% increase in attendance between our first and second Sundays. We had 22 new people. God has given us a bit of momentum. Our team is working extremely hard. They are great. We've got new people who want to know how they can get involved in serving and in Hub Groups. That's really exciting.

Next week we're going to give our entire offering away to a local family that needs some help. That should be exciting. We're also collecting diapers and wipes for this family. It was pretty cool seeing people bring diapers and wipes with them. I love being a church that's here to make Spartanburg a better place to live!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bootleg news story

Melanie took things into her own hands to get our news story online (since Fox didn't post it). For those of you who were dying to see the story, which I know is all of you, here it is!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book Giveaway Contest

So, do you want a free book? I've got two copies of the hot-off-the-press For Young Men Only: A guys guide to the alien gender, to give away here on my blog. We're going to have a little contest to see who deserves a copy. Here it is: Whoever has the most embarrassing teenage moment with a member of the opposite sex wins the book. Email your story here. Make sure you include your address. The funniest two stories (which will be judged by an expert panel of embarrassing-moment judges) will win the books. Also, I'll probably post the funniest stories on my blog, so please keep them PG. And you know you want to win, so don't be afraid to share that embarassing moment.

Jeff Foxworthy, the renowned, wise-redneck, says this about FYMO: Guys, in your hands you hold a treasure. Within this book young women honestly tell you what they want, need and desire. After nearly fifty years of trying to figure women out, even I learned a lot. For more info you can go to

One liners

I was talking with someone on the phone yesterday, telling them about Hub City Church and realized that we have a lot of one liners that we use to describe us. I'm a K.I.S.S. person (Keep It Simple Stupid) because I think simple is memorable. So I've worked pretty hard to come up with some one-liners that describe us, speak about our values and create a common language and rallying cry for who we are and what we're about. Now I know you're dying to know what those one-liners are! Here you go:
  • It's more than Sunday.
  • Making disciples who make disciples.
  • Creating a church that 20 and 30 somethings want to be a part of.
  • No perfect people allowed.
  • No one stands alone.
  • We're passionate about Jesus, relationships and making Spartanburg a better place to live.
Now I know what some of you are thinking: I've heard some of these before. Duh. One-liners don't have to be original. They just need to be authentic and genuine to who you are and what you're about. These pretty accurately describe who we are and what we're about. I'd love to hear some one liners that describe your community, church or job. I might want to steal them!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sermon intro

This is a hilarious sermon intro that Frankie made... and I know you're wondering if those tatoos are for real.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Launch

Boy is my brain fried, but in a good way. Let's just say that right before we were supposed to start the sound was worse than bad. My mic wouldn't work right. It wasn't good. I was nervous. But then everything started to work, and everything worked fine. That's just one piece of good news.

We had 22 people fill out first time connection cards. That's flippin' AWESOME! There was an incredible buzz from people. We had a ton of kids. Loved meeting new families.

But here's the craziest thing of the morning. Two TV crews showed up. Fox Carolina and WSPA CBS showed up to interview me and some other folks as well as film the gathering. Whoa! I had no idea they were coming. We should be on the news 3 times tonight! I'll post links to the stories when they go live.

A big thanks to everyone who has prayed so hard for today. Please continue to pray. God is up to something and this was just the beginning. We want to give him the credit.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


We opened up the paper this AM and there I was, on a front page teaser. It's a little weird seeing your picture on the front page. The article's pretty good. You can check it out here. If you have a blog or facebook then post the article. It will make it more prominent on their website.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I must say I've been amazed at people coming out of the woodwork wanting to help us out with getting a band and sound system for Sunday. Nothing's concrete yet, but it will be by the end of today. I love Kingdom mindedness. That's how I want to be. That's how I want to be with Hub City's stuff and people.

Now I've got to go buy some temporary tatoos. Why? Come on Sunday to find out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prayer for Spartanburg

Bob Roberts had this prayer on his blog. I've been praying it for Spartanburg: Father I pray for my city. I love my city. You love my city more. Guide my city. Pour your Spirit out over my city. Help us to love your city and serve your city like you want. I lift up all the mayors, the pastors, the businessmen, the teachers, the medical personnel, the artists, government leaders, the institutions, but more than all of those domains - I lift up the people to you. May they see Jesus in our lives as we serve them in the name of Jesus and share the Good news not as a sermon, but as a transforming story that is alive, ongoing, and inclusive.

New look

Our website got a new look in the wee hours of the morning. I think Frankie did a stand up, phenomenal job. You can check it out here.

Still waiting to find out about a band. We do have a worship leader... that's an improvement.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Here's the deal. We launch our weekly worship gatherings this Sunday. Here's the problem: We don't have a band or sound system. We thought we did, but Murphy's Law and Satan's attacks have gotten in the way. I could really use your prayers. I need wisdom. We need a band with a sound system.

I can also tell that our team is under attack. Pray for God to protect us from distraction, discouragement and disunity. I appreciate it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clemson Pics

Levi went with us to the Clemson/NC State game. He pulled hard for the Tigers and we won... and a win is a win. Here are some cute pics Liz took:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Must read post

Do you ever find yourself complaining (don't lie)? If so, you've got to read this post from Ben. Point: Stop complaining and start leading.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Read this quote on the Glocalnet Blog. It's pretty convicting: I am convinced if we prayed and worshipped daily encountering the living Jesus - just half as much as we read books, attend conferences, and study other churches - we would see a movement of God such as we have never seen and the church would be awakened once again. Everything that I’ve ever been apart of that was significant and really mattered was born out of prayer and worship and revelation that God gave in reflection and mediation.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Today we're headed out to the first Clemson home game. I love going to the game. However, after last week's embarrassment I'm missing some excitement. Hopefully we'll run up 70 points. We should. If you're at the game, say hi. I'll be wearing orange.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hook us up

I know this is lame, but there's got to be someone out there who can hook Frankie and I up with tickets to Catalyst. Our shrinking budget couldn't afford the hit, but I know there's somebody out there who could hook us up. Shameless plug is done.

Hey, I know that voice

Today I get to go record a radio ad. Not gonna tell you which radio station. Just listen and see if you can hear me.

We're giving away another iPod today, too. It's church fair day at Converse. We get to promote Hub City Church. It should be fun.

Yesterday I emailed about a bazillion people in the upstate media to let them know about our launch. Pray that God will grant us favor and give us some free press. I already have an interview with the Herald-Journal lined up.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


We made the most of Labor Day yesterday by going to the Zoo. It's always fun to see the animals. I'm a bit disappointed that my boys love the "reptile house" the most. Frankie and Melanie and Alyx went with us. Here are a few pics for the relatives out there.