Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Read your Bible

I may post this same post multiple times over the next few days. It is so, so, so, so important. If you could do one thing this year that will have lasting positive value, what would that one thing be? I'll tell you what it should be. It should be to develop the habit of reading your Bible on a regular basis. Don't read a devotional book. Read the Bible.

If you're wondering where to start then you need to read this from Swerve:

If you’re looking for ways to encourage your church to read the Bible more this year, we’ve got some great new tools available at boxWe just launched more than 20 free Bible reading plans, which are available on the website as well as all mobile platforms. Here are a few highlights:

  • You can customize each plan by making it shorter or longer.progress
  • Easily track where you are by checking off each day’s reading. We’ll also show you how far along you are with a percentage of completion.
  • Your online and mobile accounts will synchronize your information, including your plan and your progress.sync
  • If you’ve created a group for your church on YouVersion, you can select a plan to be associated with your group.
  • Soon, you’ll be able to build a support system by opting in for accountability emails to you and/or a friend.

We hope these new reading plans help you and your church engage with Scripture in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day

This video got our attention and influenced us to choose All God's Children International for our adoption. I can't watch it all the way through without crying like a baby.

143,000,000 Orphans

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Crying like a little baby

I don't know what it is, but I've been sort of anti-Christmas-songs this year. I just haven't wanted to hear them. Well, one came on the radio this AM. I was about to switch the channel, but stopped. It was one I haven't heard before by Third Day. It was all about adoption.

I was so moved that I almost had to pull my car over.

I am ready to move forward with our adoption. It would be so awesome to have a little girl celebrating Christmas with us next year.

I'm going to go cry like a baby again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holly Jolly Christmas Offering Update

Hey everybody. Merry Christmas.

I just wanted to update you on the amount you gave to The Holly Jolly Christmas Offering. Are you ready? Here it is: $1053!!!

That's awesome! Thanks for your generosity.

Just in case you missed out there is still time to give (some of you said you forgot to bring it with you). You can mail your gives to PO Box 55, Moore, SC 29369. Mark them "Holly Jolly Christmas Offering." Alongside that, any year end financial gifts need to be postmarked by December 31. You can also give online here.

Also, don't forget that we're not meeting this coming Sunday. Enjoy some time with your family and friends.

Have a Merry Christmas. It's an honor to be your pastor.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

In limbo... waiting

As many of you know, Liz and I are in the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. Right now we're kind of stuck in limbo, waiting for God to provide the financial resources for us to move forward.

I read this blog post which records a section of George Muller's autobiography. It motivate me more and more to pray and to ask God to provide the resources we need to move forward with our adoption.

I don't know if I can explain it that well, but there's something in me, call it a burden or a holy discontent, that is bothered by the financial cost of adoption. Here's why: There are 143 million kids without moms and dads, and while we may not be able to bring that number to zero in a year or less, we could do something to take a chunk out of that number if finances weren't a barrier to adoption.

If we're going to solve the problem of adoption we've got to do something to fund adoptions. I know this might sound pushy, but some of you reading this blog need to do something to help out with this issue. You can help us out. Email me and I'll tell you how you can contribute to help us adopt.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A means to an end

I read something this morning that got me thinking. And when I combined what I read with some conversations that I've had over the past few days I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts (mainly to just remind myself).

For some reason or another we've made "going to church" an end in and of itself. Now we don't say that outright, but it's implied. We think that if we go to church then we've done our religious duty and we're good to go. Being a Christian then becomes more about where we sit on Sunday morning than anything else.

The only problem with that way of thinking is that it's nowhere in the Bible. I think it's our way of doing the minimum, but we're the ones that came up with the minimum. Another problem that flows from this thinking is the idea that one church is better than another church... the whole competition thing... but I won't get into that now.

Being a part of a worship gathering/service is important. But it's not the end. It's the means to an end. So, what's the end?

The end is a life of discipleship where we are hearing from God more and more and growing in obedience by doing what he says. You cannot be a disciple if you just go sit through a church service for one hour a week. It can help you grow, but it's not the end.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


What's the first book you're going to read in 2010? I would recommend... let me rephrase that... the first book you need to read in 2010 is Mark Batterson's Primal.

I could tell you about the book, but that would spoil your own discovery. I will say that I was so inspired and motivated by it that some of it's content is going to provide the framework for Hub City's first sermon series of the year. It revolves around the greatest commandment.

Here's another reason you should read this book: I will occasionally bring out the old yellow highlighter to highlight good stuff that I read. If a book is really, really good then I'll not only highlight, but I'll make some notes. If the book is really, really, really good then I'll highlight, make notes and type those notes up in a word document. Primal gets the really, really, really good treatment.

I don't like to compare authors, and I'm pretty sure that authors don't like being compared with other authors, but Mark's writing is a lot like Malcolm Gladwell's. I think that's why I enjoy his books so much.

This book was provided courtesy of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. Thanks guys!

Judgement day

Friday, December 11, 2009

Let the reader beware

This must be quote week. The following is from Eugene Peterson:

The words printed on the pages of my Bible give witness to the living and active revelation of the God of creation and salvation, the God of love who became the Word made flesh in Jesus, and I had better not forget it. If in my Bible reading I lose touch with this livingness, if I fail to listen to this living Jesus, submit to this sovereignty, and respond to this love, I become arrogant in my knowing and impersonal in my behavior. An enormous amount of damage is done in the name of Christian living by bad Bible reading. Caveat lector, let the reader beware.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with circumstances. It has everything to do with consciousness. A relationship with Christ doesn't always change our circumstances, but it does change the way we see ourselves, see others, and see God. - Mark Batterson

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I'll do a review on this book next week, but I've just got to say, so far, it is really, really good. I think you should ask Santa for it for Christmas.

Keep coming back

I don't know why I'm posting this again... maybe it's a reminder to myself.

We're not commanded to grow the church. That's God's job. We're commanded to make disciples.

For some reason those of us in the church world get this flipped. We think that it's our job to grow the church and that it's God's job to grow disciples. The problem with that thinking is that it's just not Biblical.

Maybe if we could get back to doing our part of making disciples then God would do his part of growing the church... and it would be something that's way beyond our wildest imaginations.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Like a deer caught in the headlights

This is one of those blogs when I want to write something but not sure it's going to come out like I'd like it to come out.

Last night Liz and I had our adoption orientation phone call. It basically gave us a 30,000 foot view of the adoption process. I must say, it was a bit overwhelming, but I expected that.

What I didn't expect was the discussion about financial matters. Maybe "expect" isn't the right word, but I'm not sure what word to use. Adoptions are expensive. I knew that. It wasn't like we were unaware of the costs. But both of us were taken aback when we learned that our next step is to send in the signed contracts and a check of $7390.

I'll be honest, that amount, said out loud, made me stop breathing for a minute. 19 hours later I still feel like a deer caught in the headlights.

So now we need to come up with $7390. Maybe you have some rich uncle who you could put me in touch with.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hard to put into words

Last week I had the privilege of helping facilitate a training event called Immersion 2. Three great guys came down from Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho, and they joined up with me and two other great guys from SC.

While it was fun to help facilitate the event, I think I learned more than the attendees. I'm still working through and thinking through some of what I've learned. But it's really hard to put into words right now.

It all flows out of this statement: We don't have growth barriers. We have leadership barriers.

That's really, really profound for me. And here's why: I want to reach my full potential as a disciple of Jesus. I want to help others reach their full potential as disciples of Jesus. And I want Hub City Church to reach its full potential of making disciples who make disciples.

None of those things is going to happen if I stop growing as a leader. So now I'm getting back to working through what I've learned, but before that:

Let me ask you, what barriers are getting in the way of you reaching your full potential as a disciple of Jesus?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

There's hope for me yet

Here's a great article on introverts. I say it's great because I'm an introvert and it gives me hope. I saw myself pop up in various places in the article. Very interesting.

Monday, November 30, 2009

4 Gifts

Yesterday at Hub City we started talking about the reason for the season. We focused on Giving. I laid out our church's giving plan for this Christmas season. Here's a recap:

Give the gift of toys. We're going to be gathering unwrapped toys to give away to kids at The Haven. We'll collect the toys on December 13. Let's overwhelm The Haven with toys this Christmas.

Give the gift of an offering. We're calling it The Holly Jolly Christmas Offering. This is a gift to the church and the community. First, 25 cents of every dollar that comes in is going to be given away to Total Ministries. Second, we're going to use the rest of the money to do some things that we've been wanting to do for a while, but haven't had the resources to do... things like signs and lighting and decoration to make our Gathering more appealing.

Give the gift of an invitation. This is a gift to your friends, coworkers and acquaintances. We honestly believe that we have something worth being a part of at Hub City. But the only way that people will be a part is if we invite them. We challenged everyone to invite 5 people per week to our gathering by giving out 5 postcards. (BTW: I'm already down to 4 for this week. I invited the girl who cut my hair... after I gave her a good tip.)

Give the gift of focus. This is a gift to yourself. Instead of being consumed with the stress of Christmas, what if instead, we spent time every day focusing on Jesus in his word? That's the challenge of this gift. We gave out a reading plan. Pick one up next week or email me and I'll email you one back.

That's the plan. Here's my question for you: How are you going to participate?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Kingdom of God

The commentary in today's Herald-Journal does a great job of talking about something that few of us understand. Your Kingdom come!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great pre-Thanksgiving reads

Mark Batterson had two great posts. You can read them here and here. I think that might become a phrase we start using in my home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't read, it might make you mad

A very interesting, and if you read the comments, provocative article.

It's the potential

I am really excited about the series that we're starting this Sunday. It's titled, The Reason. Most of the time we hear Christians say, "Jesus is the reason for the season." But nobody really acts that way. And I've always wondered, Is that really true. Well, it's partially true, but you'll have to come to the series to find out why I say that.

What I'm really excited about, though, is that we're going to be doing some things as a church this Christmas that are going to make a big difference in some people's lives. And I think that being a part of Hub City this year will make a big difference in our lives.

There is huge potential. And that's what I'm excited about. I can't wait for Sunday.

BTW: This is a great series to invite people to. People are more likely to come to church during the Christmas season then any other time of the year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Read this

Jaimee had a great post here that you need to read.


I feel like I've been letting my 4 loyal readers down. Posts were almost non-existent last week. What's wrong with me? Please accept my heartfelt apologies. I'll try and do better.

Monday, November 16, 2009


One of the verses I used in yesterday's talk was Galatians 6:2. Read it.

Something I didn't say, but wanted to mention is that the responsibility for carrying each other's burdens lies on the one without the burden, or with the less burden. That person needs to be on the lookout for burdened people. And when they see a burden they need to step in and carry it.

People who are burdened or hurting shouldn't have to go out of their way to find help. We should be going out of our way to help them.

I just found that interesting. It's not normally how we work, but according to Paul, it should be.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm in...

"This is the kind of church and kingdom I want to be a part of - a band of people who are messy, have addictions and shortcomings, make mistakes, get rejected, and are screwed up, but are so fully aware of the Master's grace and love for them in spite of who they are or will be someday; people who embrace discomfort knowing there is so much to be gained for all of us and for all of our churches." - Dave Gibbons

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What is going on?!?!?!

If you're my facebook friend then you may have already heard about Levi's "incedent" today at pre-school. He was told by his teacher not to say the word "penis" at school, but to just say that at home. You've got to worry about those preacher kids.

Then, on the way to school this AM, Nathan and Matthew asked Liz what "Jackass" and "Ass" meant. Supposedly, the first word was on Tom and Jerry, and the second word is in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle (which Nathan and I are reading together). Liz informed them that both words, in those contexts, meant "donkey." But that they usually were bad words and they didn't need to say them.

You know what this means, don't you? It's time for "the talk." It's time for me to sit down with Nathan and go through all the cuss words with him, tell him what they mean, and why he doesn't need to use them.

I know what some of you are thinking, "But you're a pastor. You can't say those words." Where would you rather your kid learn what's the right and wrong thing to say? I'd rather them learn it from me than the kids at school.

Another benefit is that he'll know that I know... and knowing's half the battle.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

God wants you happy... NOT

Ok, so that's kind of a harsh title, but it's what we talked about this past Sunday. You can read the transcript here.

But in today's reading from the book of Jeremiah, I see a guy who is clearly depressed. He did exactly what God had called him to do and everybody hated him for it.

Sometimes being obedient to God doesn't lead to where we think it should. You would think that being obedient to God should result in good things, in happiness, in reward. And while that happens sometimes, it's not always the case. I think Jeremiah is a great illustration of that.

But he remained faithful and obedient to what God had told him to do. When things aren't going our way, or when they don't turn out like we think they should turn out, do we press on in obedience? Jeremiah is a great model for all of us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We have a dream...

At our weekly, Mickey D's staff meeting I asked Josh and Frankie to dream a little... not day dream... but dream-dream. Here's what I asked:

What would you like to see Hub City look like in 6 months? In one year?

Nothing was off limits. Dreams should be big. They should be audacious. They should be God sized.

We shared some pretty big dreams... things that will only happen if God shows up.

Now we're thinking through some plans to partner with God to turn the dreams into reality. But it's going to take some serious divine intervention. And we want to make sure that it's God's will that's done and not ours. Hub City is His church.

Let me ask you, how would you answer that question? I'd love to hear your dreams for Hub City. I'll share some of our dreams over the next few weeks, and I may include some of yours, so comment away. We want to hear from you!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Laughter and food

I had a great time last night with my Hub Group. We did a little pot-luck supper. We ate way too much. It was all good.

But the best part was laughing together.

Something about laughing together brings down walls and fertilizes relationships.

I'm so thankful for the people in my group. I see God at work in each of their lives. I see them growing as disciples.

If you're a part of Hub City, but not in a Hub Group, then what are you waiting on. I promise, you're missing out.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

What I want for Christmas

I just found out Switchfoot is coming to Asheville on December 4. It will be a great show. Should I go? Hmmm? Tix are $20.

Just so you know, they are my favorite band. Their new album launches 11/10/09. Holy smokes Batman, that's in three days!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Did you know?

This Sunday is Orphan Sunday. Did you know that there are 143 million orphans in the world. This should not be. We're going to spend a few minute praying about this issue on Sunday. Just wanted to give you a heads up. You can find out more here.

A great reminder

While this post by Tim Stevens isn't a perfect fit with our discipleship process, I think he clearly articulates some important stuff that we forget. He explains what the Sunday worship gathering is all about and that those who just come on Sunday aren't really a part of the church, just a part of the crowd. Being the church, being a part of the church, is more than a Sunday thing.

Sundays are important, but they aren't the most important thing we do. Since our mission is to make disciples who make disciples we place a priority on the environment where this is most likely to happen... which isn't a Sunday worship gathering. The environment where discipleship happens is Hub Groups.

Are you connected to a Hub Group? If not, why not? What are you waiting on? Do you want to be a part of the crowd or a part of our church family?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Urban Legends - week 1

I just posted week 1 of Urban Legends here. I know you've been dying to know that.

I can't wait for next week's legend. It has the potential to mess some of you up.

Friday, October 30, 2009

You want me to do what?

I'm reading through the book of Jeremiah for my time with God. Have you ever read that book? I've read it before, but it is way out there. Some of the things that God asks Jeremiah to do... well, let's just say, I'm not sure if I would know it was God speaking or some other "voices" in my head.

Take today's reading, for instance. God tells Jeremiah to go buy a linen belt. Then he tells him to put it on. Then he tells him to take it off and bury it. Then he tells them to dig it up. Then God uses it as an object lesson for Jeremiah.

It makes me wonder, if God told me to do something that outlandish, would I listen and obey? Or would I check myself into Marshall Pickens?

God: "Go to Target and buy a pair of white tube socks."
Me: "Ok."
God: "Wear those socks for a month without washing them and without wearing shoes."
Me: "Ok."
God: "Take them off and throw them away. What you think of those socks, I think of Gamecock fans."

Just kidding about the Gamecock fan part. But that is what it would be like.

As Jeremiah progresses, God continues to ask him to do crazy things... things that would get you time in jail in our culture. But he listens and obeys. I think that has something to say to us. I know it has something to say to me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love this quote

Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.

We forget

I think we forget that we're in a battle with a real enemy who wants to destroy us and destroy God's work in us. I know I forget about it way too often.

But I heard a story this morning that reminded me of the battle. Our enemy, Satan, is out to get us (if you're a follower of Jesus). He's out to destroy you and me. If you're not a Christian then he's out to do whatever he can to keep you from becoming one. I know that sounds a little weird, but it's true.

Satan is also out to destroy Hub City Church. He's going to do whatever he can to disrupt, distract, discourage and dis-unify.

We need to pray for protection. Ephesians 6 is a great passage to read that gives us some pointers about how to pray and how to fight back. Will you join me in praying for protection? Will you join with me in praying for God to paralyze Satan?

There's a battle, let's not forget.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Overwhelm us

I know I've posted about this before, but I'm praying that God would overwhelm us at Hub City. I invite you to pray that with me.

BTW: This prayer scares me to death!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The lies we believe

Have you ever thought about the lies we believe as Christians. We believe lies all the time. The reason we do this is because we take some pastor's word for something or some friend's word for something and we fail to test what they say against the truth of Scripture.

This coming Sunday we're going to begin exposing some of the lies we believe. My hope is that, as we uncover some Spiritual Urban Legends, that you'll plunge into the Bible, testing what you hear against the truth in God's word.

Myths can hurt us, but the truth will set us free. See you Sunday for Urban Legends.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I feel like a woman

I know Frankie's going to laugh at this, but I've been emotional all day. I feel like a woman whose hormones are going crazy (I know I'll get in trouble with that last statement, but I thought it was kind-of funny). But seriously, I'm messed up.

But it's for a good reason.

I can't tell you what that is right now, but I'm pretty sure I will soon.

But it's exciting, and you may get to participate.

New series beginning this Sunday

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

While at the gym

Anybody that knows me knows that I make a regular habit of going to the gym to work out. I know that when you look at my massive physic that immediately you think to yourself, "I bet he works out all the time." Well, not all the time, but I do try and go 4 days a week. It keeps my brain functioning.

But I like to make the most of my time at the gym, so I'll either take a book to read, my sermon to review or my iPod to listed to a podcast. It's my attempt to multi-task.

Today I decided to listed to a podcast on the ole iPod. Today's selection was the Catalyst Podcast interview with Rob Bell. If you listed to podcasts at all then you need to listen to the Catalyst Podcast. It's great stuff, but today's was powerfully moving. I thought I'd share a few things that jumped out at me.

1. You need to watch this video.
2. There are 143 million orphans in the world. We're not all called to adopt, but we're all called to consider adoption. Check out
3. Rob Bell says that he says no to 99.9% of the requests that come his way. Talk about focus. I think all of us would be able to do more of what's important and more of what God has called us to do if we said no more often.
4. Rob Bell said so much cool stuff, but I thought I'd leave you with this quote: When you're being obedient to God, you won't want anyone else's life. That's good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knockout Entrepreneur

I know, it's a little strange for me to read a book by George Foreman. I don't even own a George Foreman grill.

What interested me at first was the word "entrepreneur" in the title. Since I'm a church planter, I'm almost like a spiritual entrepreneur, so I was thinking I might learn something from good ole George.

This book is packed with all kinds of great information. There are helpful tidbits spread throughout the book.

My problem with the book, however, is that it's to "George Foreman" for me. I think if I'd have been a fan of his, or at least a fan of boxing, then I would have enjoyed this book a bit more. But it just ended up being too much. It almost knocked me out to read it... which is sad because there really is a lot of great, practical business info in the book.

I'll also emphasize the "business" info. George is a businessman. And while some principles do bleed over into church world, I found that this book wasn't as helpful or relevant to me as some others I've read. I would say, however, that if you are interested in starting your own business, and can make it through George's writing style, then you are likely to get a lot from this book.

This book was provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Simple Life

Be honest. Your life is too complicated. You don't have enough time to do what you need to do. Urgent things trump important things. You long for simplicity, right?

I would agree with what I just wrote, and so would the authors of Simple Life. This was a simple and practical book that walks you through the process of moving from a complicated life to a simple life.

Based on a survey of over 1000 Americans, the book talks about four areas of our lives where we long for simplicity, and how to get there: Time, Relationship, Money and God.

Basically, their prescription for simplicity involves a four step process. 1) Decide what you want to change by creating a doable mission statement. 2) Get rid of all the bad stuff that gets in the way of you getting to where you want to go. 3) Make sure your plan aligns with who you are, your personality and your giftedness. 4) Saying no to good things so that you'll only have great things in your life.

So would you like a life that's a bit less complicated? Are you not sure how to get from where you are now to where you'd like to be? This book could be a great help to you. It was for me.

This book was provided courtesy of The Ooze Viral Bloggers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fast and Pray for Favor

I was reading this today and it motivated me to write this post. Mark Batterson says this, "The favor of God is God doing things for you that you cannot do for yourself."

Would you consider praying for God's favor on Hub City? Would you take a day next week and fast for God's favor?

Mark says, "It is the
favor of God that got us to where we are. And it is the favor of God that will get us where God wants us to go. So we're going to fast for favor!"

That's true with Hub City. May God surround us with his favor as a shield.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The most important thing

I don't know why this has been on my mind for the past few days, but if I could encourage you to do one thing that will help you foolproof your life, that will be for your personal benefit, that you'll look back on 10 years in the future and be glad you did it, I would encourage you to spend time with your Creator and Savior every day. Pray. Read your Bible. Get to know God. Let God speak to you through his word. Do what he says.

I promise, this is one habit that you'll be thankful you developed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who are you under?

Be honest, you don't want somebody telling you what to do, right? None of us like to be told what to do. We think that we're more free if we're out from under authority.

I've always had the dysfunction of having trouble with authority, specifically bad authority. By that I mean authority that doesn't have my best interests at heart or, even worse, authority that could care less about my interests at all.

But here's an amazing truth: Maximum Freedom is found under authority. Or maybe I should say it this way: Maximum Freedom is found under Biblical authority.

So here's my question: Are you submitting to Biblical authority? Here's another question that might be a little more convicting: Are you picking and choosing what Biblical authority you're submitting to?

The first step to finding true freedom is having an attitude that says, "I am going to submit to the authority of God as revealed in the Bible." The second step is actually spending time reading the Bible for yourself so that you know what it says. The third step is actually doing it.

Here's my challenge: Do a little self evaluation. Are you submitting to Biblical authority? Use the following categories: Am I submitting to Biblical authority with my morality, my time, finances, my relationships, my parenting, my dating, my attitude, my speech, my thoughts, my possessions?

Maximum freedom comes when we submit ourselves to Biblical Authority. Are you under that authority?

BTW: I've seen some incredible examples of how God is transforming people who are a part of the Hub City family because they are doing this. I am proud of them. You know who you are!

Yesterday's sermon

FYI: I just posted the transcript to Sunday's sermon here.

And I have to make this disclaimer: I know it's a sermon about money. I know some of you would disagree with what I said. I just want you to know that I'm not going to argue. If you disagree then take it up with God. That this topic (money) evokes such a strong reaction says something about who, or what, has our hearts (Matthew 6:21).

I think that a lot of times when we disagree with what God says about money it says more about our hearts than we want to admit. I think it says something about our willingness or unwillingness to submit to God's authority on the subject.

I've never done this, but comments are closed for this post. If you want to argue about how you're handling God's money talk to God. He's got more time on his hands than me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In the news

Look a here, not only were we on the nightly news, but I found this story online. I love it when we do things that make the news... maybe I should say, I love it when we do good things that make the news. :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Something to chew on...

I just read this quote that Andy Stanley made at Catalyst: Are you trying to make your mark, or are you positioning yourself for God to make His mark through you?

That's something to chew on.

Extraordinary - a review

I really hate to do this, but I've got to be honest. I really did not like this book. It was hard to read. It used way, way, way too many words. I disagreed with some of the Scripture interpretation. It didn't seem to go where I thought it was going to go.

Maybe that was my problem. I thought it was going somewhere, but it never got there, so I was frustrated.

The best part of the book was some parenting advice I got. I don't think that the advice was intentional, but it was good. It involves the difference between loving our kids unconditionally and being pleased with our kids. I love my kids unconditionally. Nothing's going to change that. But I'm not always pleased with their behavior or attitudes. The same is true of God. I want to live a life that's pleasing to my heavenly father.

But that's all I got. Maybe I'll come back to it in the future and get more out of it. I'm trying to be nice.

I do have a copy to give away if someone else out there would like to read it. Maybe you'll get more out of it than me.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Getting ready for Sunday

Since we're going to be looking at the question, What's the wise thing to do with money?, this Sunday I thought that Vince's post would be good to read and think about so that we can be ready:
One of the wild things about the Bible is how often it talks about money. Over and over, it's about money. Today's reading (1 Timothy 6) is obviously no exception. We're warned of the dangers of wanting to get rich, told that loving money leads to evil, and that being eager for money tends to lead people away from faith in God. We're commanded to put our hope in God, not money, and to be generous in giving away our money.

When people hear talks about money from their own pastor there can be questions in the back of their mind, "Is he saying this because the church needs money? Is he focusing on this because it helps his salary?"

Well, I'm not your pastor, so let me give it to you straight, and you don't have to wonder about my motives:
  • If you live in America, you are rich. If you're living in poverty in America, you are wealthy on the global scale, and that's what God sees. If you live in America, you are rich.
  • If you live in America, whether you realize it or not, one of your greatest temptations is wanting to be rich, loving money, and putting your hope in wealth.
  • In the Old Testament we're told to give a bare minimum of 10% of our income. In the New Testament we're commanded to give generously. There's no way that God views less than 10% as generous.
  • If you live in America, and are therefore rich, giving only 10% just seems really greedy. Honestly, doesn't it? So give 10% (or more) to your church, but then find some other things to give to, to help those who have less than you.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Where I want to go

I love to travel. I love to travel with my whole family. I love to travel with just Liz. I've started making a list of places I'd like to visit sometime in my life. Writing them down is like a challenge/goal. Here's a few:

Road trip up the West Coast.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Virgin Islands
Europe (this could be split into multiple trips)
Grand Canyon
Machu Picchu
New Zealand
An African Safari

That's enough for today. Now if I just had the time and the money to take one month a year for travel... boy is that selfish. :)

I know it's hard

I've heard from a number of people lately who are struggling in their marriages. It breaks my heart.

Marriage is hard. I'm not sure why we think it'll be easy, but it's not. And that's ok. Actually, it's good that it's hard.

The goal of marriage isn't happiness. It's oneness. At the core of happiness is selfishness. At the core of oneness is selflessness.

The deceiving thing is that if we pursue happiness we won't find happiness or oneness. But if we pursue oneness, not only will we experience oneness, but we'll be happier.

It's starts with selflessness and serving and putting the other's needs before your own.

I know it's hard, but shut up about it being hard and start serving your spouse.

And here's another thought... maybe your marriage is one of the tools that God's going to use to grow you in holiness instead of bring you happiness. Just a thought....

Monday, October 05, 2009

Fool Proof - week 3 - Time Bandits

You can read the sermon transcript from yesterday here. I'd love to have you interact with it.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something to remember

Rick Warren twittered this today: Focus on being holy not hip, competent not cool, obedient not outrageous, annointed not attractive, praying not posing. I need to remember that.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ode to Frankie

Today is Frankie Creel's birthday.

For those of you who don't know Frankie, this post will be completely irrelevant to you.

I just found out yesterday that today is Frankie's birthday. Now I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed with Frankie's utter lack of self-serving, "celebrate me," kind of attitude that would have let me know that his birthday was coming up. Personally, I like to give people fair warning so that they have plenty of time to get a really great gift. But Frankie didn't give me any warning, so all he's getting is this "ode" on my blog.

What can I say about Frankie? First, I believe that God brought Frankie and I together at just the right time. Frankie had a desire to plant a church. I was planting a church. He joined up to learn something. I ruined his life. It was perfect timing.

Second, I couldn't do what I do as the pastor of Hub City if it weren't for Frankie. On top of that, Hub City wouldn't be the church that it is if it weren't for Frankie. He's creative, loyal, dependable and a Clemson fan. What more could you ask for?

Third, I don't know how many of you know this, or maybe you know this but it's never really sunk in, but Frankie works full time for Hub City for free. Seriously. And here's what's so incredible about that: Never once has he complained. Never once has he asked for anything. That is evidence of his great character, or that he's just not that smart... one or the other. BTW: I would love for us to eventually be able to pay him... like maybe some live chickens or a goat.

Finally, the thing that I appreciate most about Frankie is that he's my friend. Not many people can say that they get to work with their friends, but I do.

Happy Birthday Frankie. I hope this blog post will suffice for a gift. Maybe you'll remember to give me more warning next year.

An encouragement

This verse always encourages me. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A profound thought.

Every once in a while I have a profound thought. This one came during a conversation with the person who's getting me a killer rate on refinancing my house.

Jesus promises to build his church. We're commanded to make disciples. Most of the time we get the two reversed. We work to build the church and want God to take care of making the disciples.

Come on, admit it, that's pretty profound.

I think we switch things up because it's easier to build a church than to make disciples, but then maybe the church ends up being something it was never intended to be. Maybe we should do what we're supposed to do, make disciples, and let God take care of building his church. I wonder what that might look like?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A million miles in a thousand years

I love Donald Miller's writing. His book, Blue Like Jazz, is phenomenal. But it pales in comparison to his new book. I don't want to tell you what it's about because you need to stop what you're doing, go buy it and read it right now.

However, I will tell you how it has affected me. While reading I would find myself laughing out loud and then a few pages later I'd be bawling my eyes out. There are very few books that I read where I'm left screaming at the end, "I WANT MORE!!!" This was one of those books. I didn't want it to end. It has helped shape how I view my time, my relationships, my faith, my parenting, my marriage... I could go on. It's almost as if it helped me see my life from a different perspective, which is helpful... and healthy.

My commentary for the Herald-Journal that'll be coming out next Saturday, Oct. 3, contains some of my thoughts that came from reading this book. When you read it I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Prayer Challenge

I was thinking that we need to start Year Two at Hub City Church out right, so I want to issue out a little challenge to all the Hub City Slickers. Actually, it’s a big challenge. Are you ready for it? Here it is:

Would you take 10 minutes out of your day, every day, to pray for Hub City Church? Would you carve out 10 minutes of your day, maybe on your lunch break or maybe as you drive to work or maybe right before bed, to pray for Our church?

Now you may be asking: What in the world would I pray about for 10 minutes every day? Here’s an example what I’m talking about. Would you pray these sort of prayers:
  • That God will bless Hub City and do something so supernatural in and through us that only He can get the credit.
  • That God will give us greater influence and favor in our community and around the world.
  • That God’s hand will be upon us and that there will be evidence of his grace (like there was at the church in Antioch in Acts 11:23).
  • That God will protect us from discouragement, distraction and disunity. That we will be encouraged by his work in our lives and through our lives, that we’ll be focused on making disciples who make disciples, and that we’ll be united, of the same heart and mind.
  • That Hub City will grow, and that our growth will come primarily from the harvest or by conversion growth (not just from church hoppers/shoppers). That many people would become disciples of Jesus.
  • That God will meet our financial needs in abundance so that we can be more and more generous as a church.
  • That God will grant us wisdom and courage and grace.
  • If there’s time left over, pray by name for the people in your Hub Group.

These are things that I pray on a regular basis, but I’m not nearly as regular as I’d like to be. I’m working to set aside 10 minutes (minimum) a day to pray for Hub City. Will you join me in that prayer?

If so, will you message or email me back with your commitment? I’d love to know who’s praying with me.

One more prayer item: We are going to pray together every Sunday at 9:15. I’d love for you to join with us. Show up a bit early to pray.

Here’s what I know. No movement of God has ever come about without prayer. I want to see God move in an unexplainable, supernatural way. The first step is prayer. Let’s pray! Are you in?

Stories from Year One

Click on over here to read stories from Hub City's Year One. It's pretty cool reading what God has done in people's lives over the past year.

I'm so thankful for the Hub City family. I love you guys. I love being your pastor and friend. It's an honor.

I'm looking forward to year two. Can't wait to see what God has in store for me, you, Spartanburg and the world.

BTW: If you're on facebook or twitter then post a link to these stories. Spread the word about what God has done.

The best part of my day

Yesterday afternoon Nathan was begging me to do something with him. The two games I offered to play weren't things he was interested in, so I just left him alone and came to my room to work on the story for Hub Group. A few minutes later Nathan came into my room and suggested we draw together. Since I was working on the story for Hub Group I gave him a different option. I told him to go get his Bible and help me outline the story of Noah (which is three and a half chapters).

Well, he got his Bible and we worked through Genesis 6:5-9:11 together. He did a great job picking out the main points (there's a lot of repetition in that section). At the end I asked him some of the questions we use at Hub Group to discuss the passage and we ended up having a short but neat discussion.

It was the best part of my day.

I actually felt like I was intentionally discipling my son and that he was a willing participant. Afterwards he said it was really fun. Maybe we'll try and to that every week. Wouldn't that be cool?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Rabbit and the Elephant

I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when I got this book in the mail. I'm glad I didn't resist my initial inclination to put the book down. Actually, when I started reading the book I couldn't put it down.

While it is a book about house churches it is amazingly relevant to our small groups. I think I'm going to buy a copy for each of our Hub Group leaders (if I can find the cash under a couch cushion).

There's a section on page 205-206 that lists out the following principles they've learned. I think they are worth sharing.
  • True Christianity is not a weekly event. It's a 24-7, Kingdom lifestyle.
  • Jesus is the head of His church. He really does speak to His people. We must surrender control of the church to Him.
  • We must listen to each other and to the Lord, and obey what He says. Both community and mission will result.
  • Jesus was not religious.
  • Simple is easily reproducible; complex is tough to duplicate.
  • Jesus used ordinary, untrained men and women to change the world.
  • Leadership is servanthood. We must die to ourselves.
  • God's concern is for the harvest. We must ask Him to touch our hearts with the things that are on His heart.
  • The resources are in the harvest.
  • It is more effective to start something in the home of a person of peace with his friends and family than to invite the person of peace to come to your church.
  • You can work with a group of not-yet-believers and see them become disciples together.
  • Churches are meant to multiply.
Here's my only other thought. I'm a big fan of the house church movement. I hope it does turn into a movement here in USAmerica like we're seeing in other parts of the world. But I do not think it is the only expression of church. In no way shape or form was this proposed in the book. The authors were extremely gracious towards all churches.

But here's where I think gathering together in a larger group can be beneficial. First, we can do more corporately than we can do individually. Second, there is value in a large group gathering. We get to have a band and good teaching. These things are helpful and beneficial, not essential, but beneficial. They are not all that church is (even thought they have become that in a lot of churches), but the are privileges, and they help people connect with God and grow in a relationship with Jesus. Third, not everyone will get connected first through home group/church. Some people need the safety and anonymity of a larger corporate gathering.

But this book was fantastic. One of the best books I've read in a long time.

It's never been done before

I was listening to a leadership podcast today with Andy Stanley that revolved around this quote: In order to reach people who have never been reached we need to do things that have never been done.

That's a great quote. It's the complete opposite of the definition of insanity: Insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results.

I want us to reach those people who have never been reached. I don't just want them to become converts who sit on their butts for an hour on Sunday and say they are a part of Hub City Church. I want to reach those who've never been reached so that we can make them into disciples of Jesus who go out and make disciples of Jesus.

This has been something that's been on my mind a lot lately. I want Hub City Church to be known for reaching people who nobody else is reaching. But in order to do that we're going to have to do what nobody else is doing. We're already doing some of that, but I believe there's more. I'm thinking through what that might be. It would be good for you to think through it too.

What if you are the key, the catalyst, the spark that God wants to use to do what's never been done so that we can reach those who've never been reached?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Made me think

This post made me think. It made me think about inviting people to be a part of Hub City. It made me think about making disciples who make disciples. Maybe it will make you think as well.

Sermon transcripts

Maybe I'm just opening myself up for ridicule, but I thought it might be helpful to some folks to be able to read my sermon transcripts. I write out the entire sermon and then memorize it. That's how my brain works. So, I'm going to be posting my transcripts on the hubcityunderground blog each week.

Now you know.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We get to

I had this thought this morning while the band was playing their last song. We don't have to have a band to worship. We get to have a band.

I really consider it a privilege that we have some guys who will serve by playing instruments and leading the rest of us to prepare our hearts to hear from God. I'm thankful for Josh and his leadership and his heart. I'm thankful for Kevin's mad drum skills, Chris's acoustic artistry, Jordan's lead guitar excellence and Jacob's bass prowess. It's an honor to have these guys serving at Hub City.

I pray for the guys in the band often. I pray that their hearts would be right with God. I pray that they will be unified as friends and musicians. I pray that their skills would improve. I pray that God will grow them as disciples. Maybe you could pray for them too.

Remember, we don't have to have a band at Hub City. We get to have a band. How awesome is that?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The note at the beginning

The note at the beginning of Donald Miller's new book says this:
If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn't cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn't tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you'd seen. The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you'd feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
But we spend yeaers actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won't make a life meaningful either. Here's what I mean by that:
I can't wait to read the rest of the book!

Friday, September 11, 2009

First time

So last night I spoke at Upstate's Campus Crusade for Christ meeting, or "Cru" if you're cool. They meet at the Amphitheater on Upstate's campus. It was really cool speaking in an amphitheater. Very Grecian.

I also just learned that I was "funny, engaging and relevant." They must have been talking about somebody else for sure. Maybe I "looked" funny. That's got to be it. The "Cru" kids (cool name, huh?) were great. They have a ton of potential to transform Upstate.

Remember, you are where you are on purpose for a purpose. Now live like it.

Good read

Ed Stetzer has a great blog post here for church planters.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I believe that the goal of parenting is de-parenting. By that I mean that I want my kids to be able to function on their own as healthy adults after they move out of the house... and I do hope the do move out. :) Then they can have their own healthy families and de-parent their own kids.

I think we do the opposite of de-parenting in church world. As people "mature" as disciples they grow more dependent on the church.

Not that I want people giving up on church... no way, Jose. There's a saying that the Chinese Christians have: "Every believer is a church planter." I'm talking about multiplication. I'm talking about every Christian making disciples who make disciples. I'm talking about raising up healthy Christians who aren't unnaturally dependent on the church for all of their spiritual needs.

This is just a thought I'm exploring. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


All I'm saying is that you can't accuse me of not sacrificing.

I'm speaking at Upstate's Cru tomorrow night right smack dab in the middle of the Clemson/Georgia Tech game.

That's sacrifice.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Take responsibility

That's the basic theme of Obama's "back to school" speech. You can read it here.

I know there was a lot of fuss over over this speech. And while I understand some of the concern there is something in me that pushes back and fights against the fuss. It reminded me of the boycotts against Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code. Most of the people who stood against those never took the time to read the books. Most of the people who fussed about the speech never really knew what he was going to say.

Read the speech, then make a judgment.

I think that God gave us a brain for thinking. I would never say we should blindly accept what Obama says, but if we don't know what he says then we can't think through what he says. I don't think we should blindly accept what anyone says. I hope people don't blindly accept what I say. I want people to compare what I say to what the Bible says and let the Holy Spirit guide.

One thing that really impressed me about Obama's speech was his encouragement to find our what your good at and then to pursue it for the good of society. I also loved his encouragement to pursue education. Education doesn't hold all the answers to a better world, but it does open doors.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the speech. What did you think?

Friday, September 04, 2009

We are fam-i-ly...

I really do feel like Hub City Church is my family. That's why the following quote was so meaningful to me:
Church is a family. The other members are our spiritual brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. We do not "go to" family--it is not an event or a place. We are family. Of course, healthy families do get together--often. But it is not their getting together that makes them a family; it is their relationship with one another.
Likewise, it is not the meeting itself that makes a church, but the relationships. Being the body of Christ involves much more than meetings.
[Family/Church] is being real with one another, loving and caring for one another genuinely and without hypocrisy. It is the knowledge that if someone is having difficulties, we know that person well enough to recognize the signs. It is learning to take off the masks that we all wear and allowing people to know us as we really are. [Family/Church] takes time and commitment.
That is a great quote from this book. Are you a part of the family?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I WON!!!

That's right. No need to be jealous, but I just won a FREE copy of Donald Miller's new book.

Just wanted to celebrate for a minute.

That's all. You can go back to getting ready to watch the Gamecocks lose tonight.

A need

I you are a part of the Hub City family or you live in Spartanburg you need to read this.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Nathan came home with a small fever and saying he didn't feel good.

This is not good at all.


I'm praying for health for my boys this school year and for the health of all of our friend's kids as well. May the God who cause deaf people to hear, blind people to see and dead people to live give our children a healthy school year.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Others... tell me what you think

So, if you were at Hub City's worship Gathering yesterday then you know what to do, but I wanted to give a little reminder anyway... just in case you forgot.

We looked at this passage and I left you hanging by giving you some homework.

Here it is: How would you live out Peter's command to be holy in all that you do? What does holiness look like for you? Or, if you were to come up with a list of how to be holy, what would you put on the list?

I've gotten a few responses so far, but I want to hear from you. Shoot me a comment.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I love that Hub City Church meets in a movie theater for our Sunday worship gathering. There's something to being portable that is healthy for us right now. It helps us remember that church is more than Sunday, it's more than a building, it's more than one hour a week. Church is a family. We have the amazing privilege of getting to use a movie theater once a week as we gather for worship.

Well, a friend sent me this blog yesterday about having a portable gathering. I thought it was really good. Let me know what you think.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Help a bro out

My good friend and co-worker, Frankie Creel, needs your help.

Frankie is a creative guru. He does graphic design, photography, videos, websites and is working to put together South Carolina's first MMA League thingy (I don't really do the fighting stuff, but some of you out there are into that, so I wanted to put it on your radar). I am so thankful to have him in charge of all of Hub City's creative stuff. I have complete trust in his work.

Here's where Frankie needs your help. He needs some work sent his way. He's cheap, but he's good. Honestly, he should charge way more than he does, but he won't listen to me. He photographs weddings, he can design you a killer website, he can create a bodacious graphic... just don't ask him to sing. It's really, really bad.

If you need some work done, make sure Frankie is the first person you contact. I need to say, he didn't ask me to post this. I believe in him so much that I wanted to post it on his behalf. You can email him at

Garage Unsale... the details

Here are the basic details:

What: The Garage Unsale is going to be just like a Garage Sale, except we’re going to give stuff away. We’re putting a limit on how many items people can take to make sure that everyone gets what they need.

When: Saturday, October 10, 8-12

Where: Beacon parking lot

Why: We want to serve people with no strings attached. Many of us have too much stuff, stuff we don’t use or stuff we’ve replaced and it’s just taking up space in our attics or closets. Why not give that stuff away to families that need it? In light of our countries tough economic times this seems like the perfect time to give stuff away. The goal isn’t to get people into our churches. The goal is to serve people so that God is glorified. The goal is to build a reputation of being for people.

What we need: Stuff… lots of stuff. Not broken stuff, not junk, but good stuff. We need clothes, furniture, electronics, toys, baby items, appliances and school supplies. We need people to serve. We need people to help collect stuff and to separate/organize it. We need people to serve on that Saturday as guides, helpers, runners (we want trucks available to deliver furniture to people’s houses).

Pods has donated a container so that we can begin storing items. We’ll have some drop off dates available in the near future. We want to go ahead and start collecting stuff so that it will be easy to put it out on the Saturday of the Unsale.

That's all I've got for now. Are you excited?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together

Don't you miss The A-Team? I know I do, but that's beside the point.

Some great plans have been coming together lately. First, let me tell you about a call I got the other day from Hendrix Elementary School. They want to do a movie night for their school and community and were wondering if they could use our equipment. Well, today we finalized the details and we're going help them pull of the best dog-gone movie night any school has ever done! Mark you calendars, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16 are the big days. Hub City Slickers: Mark your calendars. We get to help!

Here's what's so cool about this. We're not looking for recognition. We're looking to serve. We didn't go looking for a place to serve. They called us because of how we've served in the past. I love it when a plan comes together! It's just another way for Hub City to make Spartanburg a better place to live.

Second, this past Sunday, Frankie announced our plans for Spartanburg's first ever Garage Unsale. I just realized that I haven't posted about the details, but in one sentence, it's a Garage sale where we're giving everything away. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, one of our desires for this event is that it not be a "Hub City" thing, but a Kingdom thing where a bunch of different churches come together to serve with no strings attached. Let's just say that we're seeing our desire become a reality. We met with an African-American pastor today who's church is going to be on board and he's going to put us into contact with a bunch of his pastor friends who may be interested as well. It's going to be sweet!

See, I love it when a plan comes together... making Spartanburg a better place to live.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three challenging questions from Francis Chan

  1. Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever He wants?
  2. Do you believe that wholehearted commitment to Him is more important than any other thing or person in your life?
  3. Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?
Francis Chan got me thinking with these questions. May they get you thinking too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tell me a story

I was watching 60 Minutes this past Sunday after Hub Group. I love 60 Minutes. I never really new why until Sunday. Don Huitt, the founder/creator/producer of 60 Minutes died last week and the entire broadcast was dedicated to him. In one of the scenes he is walking down a hallway when a young reporter asks him what it takes to be a successful reporter. Don Huitt replied, "It's four simple words that every four year old knows how to say: Tell me a story."

60 Minutes is all about stories. That's why I like it. I love stories.

Hub City Church values stories. That's why we want yours. We want you to send us the story of how Hub City has influenced your life or how God has worked in your life through Hub City Church. Then we're going to put those stories into a book titled Year One. It'll be a collection of stories to celebrate our First Birthday. You can email them to me.

So, tell me a story....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grad school time... for Liz

I am super excited. It looks like Liz is going to be starting grad school on Monday. This is an incredible opportunity (and one of the perks of her job). She'll be getting her Master's in Nursing Administration.

Here's why I'm excited about this opportunity. I think that Liz is just starting to tap into her potential. She is gifted in so many ways and her current job has brought out many new abilities that were hidden. Getting a graduate degree will open up more doors for her to be who God wants her to be and do what God created her to do.

Throughout this process it's become more clear to both of us how much we value education. Having graduate and post-graduate education opens doors and creates opportunities. I see this over and over again. It's why I tell high schoolers to go to college even if they don't know what they want to do. Just having the degree will give you more options.

I also don't think that it's ever too late to go to college. There are so many online programs out there today, some of which are very reasonable. So what are you waiting for. Do some research and sign up. The financial investment now could lead to greater opportunities in the future.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coming soon...

I wish I could tell you now, but I can't.

You'll just have to come on Sunday to find out more.

Aren't you at least a little curious?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A reminder

This video is a great reminder: You are where you are on purpose for a purpose.

In case of rapture

This is one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. Yes, I'm totally serious. Check it out for yourself. (Thanks to Tim Stevens for passing along this amazing news.)

You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.

We are currently active in 20 states and growing. Our representatives have been screened to ensure that they are atheists, animal lovers, are moral / ethical with no criminal background, have the ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to retrieve them and ensure their care for your pet's natural life.

Our service is plain and simple; our fee structure is reasonable. For $110.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved. Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $15.00 fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged friends.

Hand in hand

I was reading 1 Corinthians 16 this morning and came across these verses: 8But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

Does anything jump out to you in those verses?

Paul is going to stay in Ephesus because a great door for effective work has opened to him. I love that. I want a great door for effective work to be opened to me, to Hub City.

But the verse doesn't end there. Notice the last part of verse 9. There's an "and" there... and there are many who oppose me. It's like the great door for effective work and opposition go hand in hand.

I want the great door, but not the opposition. But it looks like they go together. Just thought I'd share that today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Must read... seriously, a must read

I finally finished Leonard Sweet's book So Beautiful. I say finally, not because it was boring or bad, but because it was so profound. What Sweet does is paint a simple, beautiful, doable picture of church. Much of what he wrote resonated deep within me. I would tell you more but I think it would be better for you to read it yourself. Warning: Don't read it if you're comfortable with the status quo, church-as-usual. Actually, I take that back. Do read it, but be warned. It will mess you up... in a good way. There are very few books that I need to read again (not want to read again, but need to read again). But this is one of them. Big thanks to my friend Jaimee for letting me borrow her copy.

Pics from first day of school

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm just the messenger

Saw this today and had to post it. It's a picture of a world-first, women-only parking lot.

Just spreading the love. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marriage advice

So I'm thinking of doing a series on Marriage sometime in the near future at Hub City. I've got a lot of ideas. There's so much to say, but I learned a few things way back in the day (and had it modeled by my parents) that I think lay the foundation of having a marraige that goes the distance.

First, marriage isn't a 50/50 relationship. You know what I'm talking about... where one person gives 50% and waits for the other person to meet them halfway. Marriage is 100/100. Each person should give 100%. There are days when you can only give 65%. Other days your spouse might only be able to give 5%. What happens if the spouse is in one of those down times and you've got the attitude that "I'm only going 50%." It's not going to be good, that's for sure. I could say more about this but you'll have to wait for the series. Just know that both partners need to give 100%. Are you giving 100%?

Second, this flows from the first, but selfishness and self-centeredness kill marriages. Need I say more? We need to think first of the other person, the others' needs, the others' desires. To quote Veggietales, "Being selfish doesn't pay." Included in this is submitting to one another. When's the last time you submitted to your spouse? And don't give me that "wives are supposed to submit to their husband" crap, either. Read the whole passage. The first thing it says is that we are to submit to one another. Do you submit? Are you selfish? How would your spouse answer that question?

Third, here's the biggie. This is the number one thing I see missing when I look at married couples. Respect one another. Seriously, respect your spouse. In the way you talk with them, in the way you talk about them, in the way you treat them when they're around, in the way you treat them when they're not around... respect your spouse.

And here's the deal, it needs to start with the husband. Dude, man up. Give 100% to and for your wife. Be selfless. Respect your wife.

Hey, I may have found a series outline just by typing this out! And singles, this is so, so, so, so important for you because you need to know this stuff before you get married, then you won't have to play catch-up. You'll be a better husband/wife... because the more you know....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thoughts on Carowinds

I know, you probably don't care, but after taking the boys to Carowinds yesterday I had some thoughts I thought I'd share (that kind of rhymes...).

Carowinds has such potential. It's the only real amusement park anywhere around us. Sure, you could drive to Atlanta for Six Flags, but who wants to do that? Carowinds has some great roller coasters. The water park is a really good water park. There are great kids areas.

But I think I know how they could improve (and since I'm such a business genius I think they should listen to me). First, do a better job with cleaning the park. Things looked dirty. The bathrooms smelled really bad. It didn't look like people took pride in taking care of Carowinds. My experience would have been better had it been cleaner.

Second, customer service isn't optional. There were some great, energetic employees. There were some employees that were jerks. That shouldn't happen... especially when you pay out the wazzoo to get into the park. Employees should smile and be nice. They should like people. They should like their jobs. If they don't then it's the job of the supervisors, managers and owners to change the culture. Some things need to be changed. Nathan got yelled at by a middle-aged life-guard who seemed to have some control issues about a green line on the ground. I know you need to stand behind the green line, but you can be nice in how you talk to people. I could go on with this, but I'll stop before I get worked up.

Third, if you're going to charge $10 for lunch then it better be out of this world. Seriously, I know this is nothing new, but food is outragious. Tons of people, including my family, were picnicing. It would have been a great idea for them to have picnic tables available for the families that were trying to save a little after having to take out a second mortgage just to buy entrance tickets.

All this gets me thinking about the church too. There are some paralels. A clean, appealing context are important. That's not hard or expensive to do. It just takes some attention to detail. People are important and we need to treat them with respect, period. And I know we don't charge for food, or at least most churches don't have food courts, but if we are going to have food, coffee, etc. it needs to be good.

It's about doing the best you can with what you have. I'd like to go back to Carowinds, but I just don't know. You think they'd hire me to manage the park?