Friday, June 26, 2009

Blown Away

Yesterday I floated the need out there about a family who lost everything in a fire. Our little church and our relational networks has really stepped up. We've provided beds. There's still time to get gift cards to us so we can get them to them. Bring them on Sunday.


I'm going to be unplugging for the next week. Going to Hilton Head with the family. Can't wait.

For all of you that read this blog, thanks! Talk with you in a little over a week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Urgent Need

Hey everybody,

I met a family at Movies in the Park last Saturday who could use some help. Let me say up front that they did not ask for help. But I felt compelled by God to do something. I was talking with the husband and he shared with me some of their story. The short version is that their apartment burned down at the end of last year and currently they are sleeping on mildewed/molded/stained mattresses donated by Salvation Army. They lost everything in the fire (clothes... everything). They are extremely grateful for what they've been given, but I think it's appalling that someone would have to sleep on a mildewed/molded mattress.

So here's the deal: I'm floating the need out there. These people need beds. There's a husband and wife, plus 4 kids (ages 12, 12, 10 and 9). If you have an extra bed/mattress or know someone that has an extra bed mattress, that would be willing to give it away, no strings attached, please let me or Frankie know.

I also think it would be great if we could get them some walmart or target gift cards so that they could go by some clothes. If you want to grab a gift card you can bring it on Sunday and drop it with Jaimee Holmes at the Hub Table.

Sometime this weekend we'll have a video with more info on my or Frankie's blog. Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I feel sick

I feel like I've been punched in the gut. I feel kind of sick.

Mark Sanford, the Governor of our state, just admitted to having an affair. This admission comes right on the heels of a church planter that I know who admitted to having an affair with his secretary. My heart is broken over stories like this. I

Here are my thoughts: PRAY FOR PROTECTION FOR MY MARRIAGE, YOUR MARRIAGE, ALL MARRIAGES. Seriously, we have an enemy and all he wants to do is mess us up. His only job is to steal, kill and destroy. We need divine protection.

And let me say this to those of you who might get all cocky and start passing judgement on Sanford or others in his situation. Pride comes before the fall. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Any of us could fall like Mark Sanford. Why not instead of passing judgment don't we show love, empathy and forgiveness. After all, isn't that how our Heavenly Father responds to us when we sin?

I pray for God's grace and forgiveness to be tangibly felt by the Sanford family. I also pray God's protection over all of us.

Movies in the park ad june

Don't be jealous of our amazing dance skill.... Nigel, here we come.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thank You

My oldest, Nathan, has really been doing a great job saying "Thank You" lately. Maybe I'm the only parent who thinks this, but when he shows heartfelt gratitude there is something in me that want to do more for him. Like two weeks ago when we bought snow cones for the boys... they were SO greatful (for ice with syrup). Their thankfulness made me want to buy them snow cones all the time (don't tell them I said that).

I wonder what our gratitude does to our Heavenly Father? So often I find myself praying for stuff and asking God to meet my needs instead of thanking him for all that he's given me and for all that he's done for me. I want to be grateful. I have so much to be thankful for. Don't you?

I'm working to make it a habit to show gratitude more often to God. I know how it makes me, as a dad, feel when my boys say "thank you." I bet our Heavenly Father feels a similar way when we say "thank you" to him.

BTW: I want to say thank you to all of you who read this blog. I'm honored and blown away that you would take some of your time and read something I have written. Thanks!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Movies in the Park was great on Saturday. We had quite possibly our largest crowd ever. And people laughed at our "So you think you can dance" video.

Prayer guide for June 21st - June 27th

Spread God’s love by serving
Serve: When we serve, we actively pursue the lost, the forgotten, and poor to show them a God who is passionately in love with them. And when we serve together, we can accomplish more than we ever could on our own…

This week's daily Prayer Focus

Sunday - Blessings and protection for our children/future generation. Prayer Verses: Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4

Monday - People who serve our countries. Prayer Verses: Jer. 29:7

Tuesday *Don't forget to Fast* - The service projects initiated during One Prayer. Prayer Verses: Matt. 9:36-37; Matt. 25:37-40

Wednesday - People in need of healing. Prayer Verses: Mark 16:17-18; James 5:16

Thursday - People suffering from addictions. Prayer Verses: John 8:34

Friday - People suffering and affected by AIDS. Prayer Verses: Luke 14:13

Saturday - Guidance and strength for parents. Prayer Verses: Deut. 6:4

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're LIVE

Well, we were live, but if you go to you can watch us talk about Movies in the Park as well as Hub City. It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Disappearance of God - A review

First off, I've got to say that I would never have bought this book. While I would consider myself to have many (not all) of the beliefs of Albert Mohler, I really, really disagree with his tone. Having said that, I am really glad I read this book. I learned some stuff, especially from his chapters on Christian Beauty.

This book points out how our culture has wandered away from a belief in the God of the Bible and shows some of the paths that have taken us to where we are. I was engaged, but maybe that's because I don't usually read books like this. I've got to say this again, it's not that I disagreed with Mohler's content. It's great content, that deserves a reading whether you agree with it or not. What I didn't like was the way that he said what he said. I also didn't like how the book seemed like a collection of blog entries. On top of that the book just ends, with no real hope, no real "do this" solutions. Basically it just points out the problems, and while it does give some solutions, it's just not practical enough for me.

I also have to say that I completely disagree with his statements about Expository preaching. I don't think the arguement is either Expository preaching as he defines it or "the Bible is just a footnote." I think that we do expository preaching, but in a way that connects. I do not think that his definition and way of doing expository preaching is even Biblical. Neither Paul, nor Peter, nor Jesus did it his way. I think Mohler's stuck in a preaching tradition and he can't see out of it.

I'm glad I got the book for free. But I'm not sure if I would advise you to go buy it. If you're interested you can find out more here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I would really appreciate your prayers. On Thursday, at 10 AM, I am going to be interviewed live on Your Carolina. I also think that the segment will air on the new Scene on 7. I'll be talking about Movies in the Park. Pray that I will communicate in an engaging and informational way all that people need to know about Movies in the Park. Pray that I will represent Jesus, Hub City and the Church well. Thanks.

Eyes Wide Open - A review

This book was fantastic. Seriously, it is worth getting and reading. Jud does a great job of showing us a healthy and right picture of God, ourselves and our purpose. He does so with engaging stories and simplicity.

One thing I really appreciate is how Jud uses the Bible. These ideas aren't just things he's made up, but they are truths that come straight out of God's Word. He just state it in new, fresh and simple ways. It was a great reminder to me and sparked a few sermon series ideas that Hub City folks might hear in the Fall.

I really only have two qualms with this book. First, the cover are is horrible. A book this good needs better graphics on the cover. Second, it could have been longer. It was so good that I wanted each chapter to say more.

Sir Dalton - A Review

I've got to say, this book wasn't what I was expecting. It is a children's book (make that an older children's book) that's a parable about truth and following Jesus and the authority of the Bible. But even though it wasn't what I was expecting it was very good, especially for older kids. I tried to get Nathan to read through it with me, but I think it will suit his tastes better in a year or so (it didn't help the situation that there's a love story that flows through the book... Nathan can't stand love stories).

What I like best about books like this is that they can open up discussions between parents and kids about issues that are important. It provides fodder for spiritual conversations. That's a good thing. Parents just have to make sure they take the time to read it with their kids.

I must say, at the end of the book I was disappointed. I wanted more. I may have to find book four in the series to see what happens next.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Helping out a fellow broth

I had lunch today with a church planter who moved to Spartanburg to plant Kaleidoscope Church. It's going to be an intentionally multi-ethic/international church. He's a great guy. I'm excited to have him in Spartanburg.

Here's what I'm really excited about: Helping them out. I want to be known as the guy, and I want Hub City to be known as the church that helps out new churches in Spartanburg. I most definitely don't have all the answers, but I sure can pass on what I do know. Our church isn't perfect, but we can share resources.

Pray for Derrick and Kaleidoscope church.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 2 Prayer Guide

Prayer guide for June 14th - June 20th
Make a difference by giving.

Giving helps in the spreading of the gospel, starting new churches and seeing lives transformed.
This week's daily Prayer Focus:
Sunday - People who are struggling as a result of the world economic crisis. Prayer Verses: Matt. 10:29

Monday - The 660+ churches planted through the One Prayer 2008 mission. Prayer Verses: Eph. 6:18; Col. 1:3-4

Tuesday *Don't forget to Fast* - Protection for those sacrificing their life to work in the mission field. Prayer Verses: Psalm 91:14

Wednesday - Persecuted believers. Prayer Verses: Matt. 5:10; John 17:14-19

Thursday - Orphaned and abandoned children. Prayer Verses: James 1:27; Matt. 25:37-40

Friday - Victims of worldwide natural disasters. Prayer Verses: Matt. 25:37-40; Isaiah 58:12

Saturday - People around the world in need of food, clothing, and shelter. Prayer Verses: Is. 58:7; James 2:14-17

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good stuff

I've read a few really good posts today that are worth your time.

Vince follows up what I was saying the other day about humility with this post.
Mark always inspires and challenges me, but I really love what he says about reading the Bible here and what we're becoming here.

What do you think of what Vince and Mark have to say?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Prayer

I completely dropped the ball this past Sunday and forgot one REALLY BIG part of our One Prayer series: PRAYER! During the month of June, we want to pray for the Church (big C). Each week I'll give you a guide to facilitate your prayers. I'm also going to invite you to fast with me once a week as we pray, not only for our church, but for the Church. Here's this week's guide, as you can see, we've got some catch up to do:

Saturday - The 36 countries represented in One Prayer Prayer Verses: Matt. 6:10 1 Tim. 2:1-2

Sunday - The pastors participating in One Prayer Prayer Verses: Eph. 1:16-19 Eph. 6:19-20

Monday - Other One Prayer churches in your area Prayer Verses: John 13:34-35 John 17:23

Tuesday *Don't forget to Fast - Opportunities to spread the gospel Prayer Verses: 2 Cor. 5:18-21 1 Matt. 28:18-20

Wednesday - People who don’t know Christ Prayer Verses: 2 Cor. 4:4 Mark 2:17

Thursday - Increasing boldness in our faith Prayer Verses: Acts 4:30

Friday - Leaders who are planting and launching churches Prayer Verses: Matt. 9:36-37 Acts 4:30-31

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Body of Death

In Romans 7 Paul cries out: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Body of death??? Paul??? Check this out:
This term "body of death" was graphic and showed the extent of his struggle. Near Tarsus, Paul's birthplace, an ancient tribe dealt harshly with murderers. A convicted murderer would be strapped to the dead body of the slain. He would remain strapped there until the decay of the corpse infected him and killed him. Maybe this is what Paul was referring ot when he spoke of his "body of death."
That's a pretty good description of what sin does, don't you think? Thanks to Jud Wilhite for the quote.

Mormon's just stopped by

That's right. I didn't have the time to talk with them now, but they may come back next week. It's my first "mormon visit." It has got to be hot walking around in black pants, tie and backpack. It really breaks my heart. Pray for Elder Adams and Elder Bennet. Maybe we can have a conversation next week.

Would love your advice on having a conversation with them.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The missing "H's"

I'm meeting with this group of church planters tomorrow and I'm supposed to do the devotion. I'm not really big on devotions. Most of the time they are a waste of time, so I wasn't all that excited to be asked to "devote." But then I read this yesterday.

I cried. It completely broke my heart. Pray for Gary, his family and his church.

But it helped me to know what to talk about tomorrow. I think that there are two character traits that are lacking in many church planters. They both begin with "h". They are holiness and humility.

The two go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. We are commanded to be both holy and humble.

We sacrifice holiness by chasing cool and we more known for pride and ego than for humility.

I don't want that to be said of me. So here it is, I'm giving you permission, if you see me falling short in either holiness or humility then feel free to pull me aside, give me a call or shoot me an email to call me on it (just don't be a coward and do it anonymously). I may get defensive at first, but I'll listen.

Let's stop missing the "H's".

Friday, June 05, 2009

A tale of two preachers

Read this quote on Ben's blog yesterday:

Once there were two preachers. George Whitefield amazed crowds with preaching ability, led tons of people to Christ, and died with a great reputation. John Wesley organized his converts into discipleship groups and equipped ordinary farmers to become preachers who carried on the mission long past his death.

I want to be more like John Wesley. That's one reason we're taking the next three weeks to do Hub City BS. If you haven't signed up there's still time. Shoot me an email.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

One Prayer

This Sunday, June 7, we're joining with 1649 churches from around the world for a series that's titled "One Prayer." I really can't tell you how excited I am that Hub City is going to be a part of this.

For one, we believe that the Church is more important than our church. We're just one church working towards the advancement of God's kingdom. Another reason I'm excited is because I think this is one way we're a part of fulfilling Jesus' prayer of "make them one." Finally, I'm pumped because we're going to hear from some great communicators who say what I want to say, just better. The theme for 2009 is God is....

Now I know it'll be a bit weird having the sermon come via video, but heck, we meet in a movie theater, so it'll be OK! Here's the lineup for the One Prayer series:

6/7 - God is... strength.
Francis Chan, Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, CA

6/14 - God is... ready.
Scott Hodge, Orchard Park Community Church, Aurora, IL

6/21 - God is... love.
Craig Groeschel,, Edmond, OK

6/28 - God is...
Andy Stanley, North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, GA

It's not for us, it's for God.

Once again, Vince's post makes me want to read this book.
Just read The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani and I thought I'd share a few thoughts this week, as they apply to the church we're planting here in Vegas.

If you pick up this book, I think the analogy Jethani uses starting on page 85 is brilliant. I'll make you read the book, but the idea is that church used to be something that brought you to a destination (to God, to worship of God, to bringing friends to God) but it has now become the destination.

This leads to people asking, "What kind of programs does your church have for me?" The right answer?This church isn't for you, it's for God.

It also leads to people leaving their church for another church that will be "better for us." Huh? What does better for us have to do with anything?Church isn't for you, it's for God.

But here's what I wonder: Have we gone so far in the wrong direction that there's no turning back? I don't think so, but I wonder if I'm idealistic. How do we turn this thing around, on a big scale?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Moving grandma (momahaze)

Yesterday my dad and I moved my grandma, ie. "Momahaze," from her assisted living facility in Easley to one in Augusta, GA, that's much nearer to where my parents live. I hate moving. But I was glad to help move Momahaze.

The facility that we moved her from is like the projects compared to the 5-star facility in Georgia. Seriously, it's like moving from Columbia to Clemson. It's amazing. Not only is the facility so much better, but her room is almost twice the size with a balcony that made me drool. On top of that, the new facility is $800 a month cheaper than the old one!

Don't get me wrong. The facility in Easley was good, but the one in Augusta seems pretty great. And to think that if she'd have stayed in Easley she would have been settling for something far less than what she could have in Augusta.

So all of this got me thinking. So often we settle for less when we could have so much more. I see singles do this all the time when they settle for who they are going to date, when instead they should have raised their standards. I see this with people who charge everything they buy and run up dept just to have the best and the latest, when instead they could have waited, saved and ended up paying cash.

So where are you settling?

Liz and I are in the process of making some tough financial choices in order to have more finances to do things we really want to do. Honestly, I'd rather not cut out what we're thinking of cutting out. But when I think of the possible rewards in the future it makes the sacrifice worth it. We'd rather have the great over the good. That means not settling.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Mission trip ideas

My favorite part of youth ministry was taking kids on mission trips. For some reason I've been thinking a lot about mission trips lately. I think it was sparked by Ed Stezter's recent trip to Europe with this organization.

I'd like to see our church go on a mission trip. There's something supernatural that happens on mission trips.

So here's my question: Where should we go? Who should we partner with? If you were me, and you could plan a mission trip for Hub City Church, what would you do? (I'm not saying we'll do that, but I would love your ideas.)

I'll be honest, I'm partial to overseas. I'm also partial to a partnership that will last for a while instead of a one-stop-drop mission trip. I'm also burdened for Europe... it's the only place, other than North America, in the world where Christianity isn't growing. But I'd also love to go to Africa or China or the Middle East. Let me hear from you.