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.