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