Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We like to laugh

I'm really excited about Hub City BS that'll be starting June 6. Hub City BS (Basic Stuff) is our 101 class. We're going to talk about who we are as a church, what we're about, what we believe, what we'll fight over, what's not that big of a deal to us, and much, more. I am positive that it will be worth your while, so email me and let me know you're coming.

Today I was working on some content for Hub City BS. I was thinking through why it is that we use humor. Why do we make stupid, pointless videos? Why do we make fun of ourselves?

There's a point to the madness. Sure, we love to laugh, and we think it's healthy not to take ourselves too seriously. But the main reason we use humor is because it tears down walls. It opens people up. It gets rid of the tension in the room.

We'll share more during Hub City BS, so sign up: Hub City BS, the first three Sundays in June, 6-7:30 @ Threshold Church's building in Boiling Springs.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Got ideas?

Yes, this is a purely selfish post. I want to take Liz to NYC for our Anniversary. The problem is it's not in our budget. So, I need some ideas on how to make some extra money. Leave a comment with your suggestions. Thanks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Positive, negative or nuetral?

When I first read this article I wasn't sure I agreed with Mark, but the more I think about this the more I realize how I've seen it played out in the church world. Check it out and let me know what you think.

A Family

I think of Hub City Church as a family. I love the people that are a part of Hub City.

Here's why I wrote the previous two sentences: Most churches have members. Some have partners. I've always had some sort of discomfort with each of those terms. Members reminds me of a country club. Partners sounds so business-like. That's why I think of us as a family. A family is relational. Healthy families love one another no matter what. They are there for one another. They love in spite of the quarks and personalities that each person possesses.

Beginning June 7 we're going to be having Hub City BS (Basic Stuff). We'll go over Hub City's mission and vision, who we are, who we're not, what we believe, what's negotiable, why we do what we do and answer any and all of your questions. It'll be a three week "class" on Sunday nights. At the end of our time we're going to invite you to be a part of the family. Put the dates on your calendar. Sign up this Sunday.

Welcome to the family.

Good stuff

Read this from Vince this AM. My thoughts exactly:
Christians today are known for being judgmental towards and keeping our distance from those outside the church, especially the one's we consider sinners. Right? We see Christians protesting, holding up picket signs, putting people down - all which communicates judgment towards the non-Christian world. We also see Christians building their own private schools, rec centers, coffee shops, all of which (whether intentionally or not) keeps distance between Christians and the (sinful) non-Christian world.

So it's a real kick in the pants to read 1 Corinthians 5, which explicitly states that we are not to judge or keep our distance from those outside the church, but are to judge and keep our distance from sinful people inside the church.

Say what?!? Yes, that is exactly what it says. Now can you imagine if we actually practiced it?

So what do you think about what Vince said?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

Today Matthew turns 6! I am so proud of him. He has such passion and enthusiasm (wish you could have seen him open up his "Lego Thunder Driller"... priceless). He is such a smart little guy and has a great heart.

Matthew, I'm thankful that you are my son. I am so proud of you. Thanks for letting me be a part of your "cuddle-club." Happy Birthday. I love you.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pray this?

I was reading an article in Leadership Journal the other day and came across this from Jim Cymbala:

"The number one sin in America," he said, "is that its pastors and leaders are not on their knees crying out to God, 'Bring us the drug-addicted, bring us the prostitutes, bring us the destitute, bring us the gang leaders, bring us those with AIDS, bring us the people nobody else wants, whom only you can heal, and let us love them in your name until they are whole.'"

Wow. Makes me ask: Do I have the guts to pray that? Do I even want God to bring us those people? If I don't, what does that say about me? If I do, am I ready for that?

Then, after reading that, I come across this statement from Ed Stezter: We're spending too much time doing the work of the Lord rather than with the Lord of the work.

Ouch, again.

These are just two of the places where God is speaking to me lately about prayer. I'm not sure I pray enough. I'm not sure we pray enough. In the book of Acts, prayer preceded the pouring out of the Spirit. Prayer preceded the explosive growth of the church. Prayer preceded life change.

I need to pray more. We need to pray more. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this except maybe to keep myself accountable and to invite you to partner with me in praying. I'm sure I'll post more thoughts on this later...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This is a good post. A good reminder. A good spark for some self-reflection. I think I'd like to hear the whole talk.

Kung Fu Madness

You know you're jealous of our mad-skills.

MIP reflections

I thought I'd give a few reflections on our first Movie in the Park of 2009. First, I honestly didn't think it was going to happen. When I looked at the radar and saw the storms coming up out of Atlanta I was positive that it would be canceled. Actually, I told Liz, "We'll be canceling MIP tonight."

But it didn't rain. The storm out of Atlanta split when it got to Spartanburg and went around the city. I'm not making that up. You should have seen the radar. Like last year, when God wanted to get the word out about MIP and he got the word out, this year, God wanted MIP to happen and he diverted the rain. Unbelievable. I am very thankful. God granted us favor.

Second, with the chance of rain I didn't think we'd have more than 100 people. Seriously, would you bring your family out when it looks like it's going to pour? I'm not sure I would. Thankfully, around 1500 (+/- a few) came out anyway. It was a phenomenal turnout.

Third, we had a GREAT team come out to serve, making MIP a possiblity. I can't believe that we pulled it off last year with only 12 adults. This year, it seemed like everywhere I looked, there was somebody in a Hub City shirt. Everybody had a great attitude. Everybody worked hard. Everybody made a difference. I'm really proud of our team/church. I'm pumped to be a part of a church (meaning the people) that's partnering together to make Spartanburg a better place to live. You know who you are and you are awesome!

Fourth, we raised almost $300 for Water Mission International. We'll be selling glow bracelets all summer and ALL the proceeds got to develop clean water systems overseas. I can't wait to mail them a big check at the end of the summer.

Finally, we get to do it all again on June 20. We're already getting phone calls asking what our next movie is going to be. In case you're wondering, it's Madagascar 2.

Monday, May 18, 2009

So tell me how you really feel.

I appreciate honesty. I'd rather know where you "really" stand and what you're "really" thinking and feeling.

I had a comment on my facebook status this morning. Here's what it said: Now that God has saved movie night, could you ask him to get to work on lesser issues such as world hunger, rampant violence and everybody losing their jobs??

So, tell me how you really feel. Sarcasm noted.

But at least it was an honest comment. Not much hidden there.

I think God appreciates honesty too. He's not freaked out when we express ourselves.

On a side note, I think we addressed the above quote in our What's so great about Christianity series. I'm thankful that the basis of Christianity is an event and not circumstances. I'm thankful that even though we live in a world where nothing is fair and injustice is rampant that we have a God who is working and can be trusted... even if our tiny little minds can't understand.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We should be more like geese

Found this story in a book I'm reading by John Maxwell:
When you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing that science has discovered why they fly that way. Research has revealed that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately behind it. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. (People who share a common direction and sense of community get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on one another's thrust.)
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. (If we as people have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation and so will those who are headed the same way we are.) When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the "V" and another goose flies the point. (It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.)
These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. (What do we say when we honk from behind?)
And finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunfire and falls out, two other geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with the goose until it is either able to fly again or dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group. (If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.)
Pretty good picture of what the church, as a movement, should be.

I almost died today

So I'm at the YMCA this morning doing a little cardiovascular torture. I started on the bike, not something I do very often, but I'm trying to trick my body and use different muscle groups. Next I moved to the treadmill and pretended to be a runner. It was a good workout, but that's not the reason I almost died.

While running to nowhere on the treadmill I was listening to a leadership podcast/interview with Rick Warren. I'm running away when he says this:

You cannot win your enemies to Christ, you can only win your friends.

At that moment I almost fell off the treadmill and died.

Now, I know I'm being a tad bit dramatic, but that's profound. That's good stuff. I think Christians in America are making more enemies than friends. Think about it: So often we are so busy standing for what's right, fighting for our rights or crusading against moral impurity that we forget our primary mission. We're commissioned to make disciples.

Too often, however, we've just made enemies.

What if instead we started making friends. Like with those people who don't agree with you... what if you became their friend. Like with "that group of people" who does "that horrible sin"... what if you just became their friend? What if you had them over for dinner?

Obviously, making enemies hasn't done much to change the world for the better. Maybe it's time we started making friends.

That's one thing I'd like Hub City Church (as a group of people, not a Sunday event) to be known for: Friend of sinners, friend of the city, friends.

MIP article

There's a great article in the Herald-Journal Escape promoting Movies in the Park. You can read it here.

Click on the link to the article about 2319 times... then it will show up on the front page as one of the most read articles online. :) Just trying to manipulate the system.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leadership Spartanburg

I'm applying for Leadership Spartanburg this year. It's a program that brings leaders from various backgrounds and industries together to make a difference in Spartanburg County. I would appreciate you praying for favor as I apply.

One of my desires is to put down roots in Spartanburg. That takes relationships and time. I'm thinking that Leadership Spartanburg will be a great way to develop relationships with influencers in the community. The application will be sent tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No inspiration

I'd like to write something, but have no inspiration... hmmm...

On a side note, my dog is getting "fixed" today. Now that you know that your day is much, much better.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Off to Hollywood

I deserve it

This doesn't happen very often (even though it probably will now that I'm writing this), but I felt like yesterday's sermon was aweful. No one told me it was aweful. I just felt that way. Actually, people said how much they got out of the sermon, but I still felt like I threw up a flying duck.

I think I've figured out why I felt this way. I talked about one of our biggest struggles as men: Insecurity. It's fitting that I'd be insecure doing a sermon on the antithesis of insecurity.

I'm just glad that God's bigger than how I feel after I preach. I'm so thankful that the Spirit moves and works and uses imperfect people. Aren't you?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The iBible

We showed this video on Sunday. Quite possibly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Seriously, read you Bible... but don't use this.

Move out of the ghetto

This is one of the parenting books I'm reading this year in my attempt to read at least 4 parenting books by January 1. It was recommended by Vince. I'm just in the intro, but quotes like these get me excited:

The Christian subculture we have chosen to raise our children in might precondition them to spiritual apathy or antagonism.... You may have unwittingly taken up residence inside an evangelical ghetto, thinking it somehow offers a safer and healthier environment in which your children can develop their relationships with God. It doesn't. My hope is, if that is your case, this book will help you move out of that ghetto and take up residence closer to the front lines of the battle for the cross.

That's good. I want my kids to be missionaries. I want my family on the front lines of the battle for the cross.

Brain Block

Got a bit of brain block this morning. We're starting a new series on Sunday called Man Up. Basically it's a series geared towards men and it's about courage. We're going to be looking at 3 familiar stories in the book of Daniel. This Sunday I'll be introing the entire series, giving some background on the context of the stories and defining courage.

I'm stuck, though. So, in light of what I've just shared, do you have any suggestions? Any stories about the wimpiness of our culture? Any stories of courage in the face of adversity?

Courage is doing the right thing even when it's hard. Here's your chance to contribute.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Don't get disqualified

The subject of leadership intrigues me. One of the reasons why is that all of us are leaders in some realm. We're leaders at work, at home, in the community, or maybe we just lead ourselves. Right now I'm reading this book. It's a good book, especially for young adults. While at the gym, working my tail off on the elliptical this AM, I read a chapter on things that disqualify us.

I know so many people who have either disqualified themselves to lead or can never reach there full leadership potential, and it's usually the result of what Irwin talks about in this chapter. It is so important that I wanted to write a post about it (mainly as a warning and reminder to myself). So what are things that disqualify us from leadership?

Poor Interpersonal Relationships: Some people just can't work good with others. You'll never be the leader you were meant to be if you can't get along with people. It's about working together. It's about thinking of others.

Arrogance: Need I contribute anything? There is nothing I despise more (which probably means I can or do have a problem with this). These people are always right. They overestimate their abilities. I love this quote, "They don't adapt well to changes they haven't authored because they cannot condescend to support a position created by others." Ouch. Key to being a great leader is Humility.

Volatility: Ever worked with someone like this? They just explode. You never know what to expect. You don't know what makes them happy.

Aloofness: These people are detached, insensitive, dismissive of others and uncommunicative. They aren't much fun to work with. They are usually critical and demanding.

Inability to Change: I love what Irwin writes about this: "As members of an organization move to higher levels or different departments or organizations, their skills must change. They must be flexible enough to learn new approaches that match the needs of the new situation. Leaders who derail often fail to adapt. When they enter a new department or a new organization, they rely too heavily on methods or models they have used in the past." This one's a big one for us at Hub City. If we are going to grow then things are going to change. We can't do things like we've done things in the past. This is true for the entire organization.

I don't want to get derailed. I don't want you to get derailed either. To find out if you're susceptible to any of these check out to take an online assessment.

Pics from the Baptism

We had our second baptism @ Hub City yesterday. I got to baptize Matthew and Calista. It was fun (Matthew swam around the baptistry before he got dunked). Frankie baptized Christian. I'm really proud of Christian. It was a cool celebration. Here are some pics.

Hey Mickey you're so fine...

A Herald-Journal reporter snapped this picture and it was on the slideshow for Friday night. Isn't Mickey (I mean "Ricky)) Mouse amazing?

I love Spring Fling. Don't know why more people from Sparkle City don't take advantage of the event. It's a blast.

Friday night, Nathan and Matthew were in the kid's bike race. Matthew won second in his race and won a spiffy new racing helmet! It was fun watching my boys race. I think we'll enter Levi next year.