Friday, December 31, 2010

A new thing

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” - Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Good encouragement/reminder for today

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. Mark 4:18-19 (NLT)

"Now, listen carefully, when something crowds God out of my heart, you know what it's called? It's called an idol."

As we discussed yesterday, God wants more than just a little piece of your heart. He wants your whole heart.

Jesus talked about how easy it is to let your heart become so overcrowded that you have no room for God. He says there are those who hear God's word, but they become overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get, and eventually the stress strangles what they heard - so nothing comes of it.

This is why some people can go to church week-after-week and year-after-year and yet there is little change in their lives. The seed that is planted through the Word on the weekend isn't able to grow because there is no room in the heart.

Now, listen carefully, when something crowds God out of my heart, you know what it's called? It's called an idol. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in my heart. And the Bible says there should be no idols in our hearts.

Idolatry doesn't mean you have a little statue that you kneel before and pray. An idol can be your career. An idol can be your boyfriend. An idol can be making money. An idol can be a dream. An idol with can be your marriage. Anything that is more important to you than God is an idol.

The Bible says, "Be still, and know that I am God!" (Psalms 46:10 NLT) Here's a rough translation: sit down and calm down. You can resign as the general manager of the universe and it's not going to fall apart. You may be so busy putting irons in the fire, that you're about to put the fire out.

Jesus is telling us to get rid of the clutter in our hearts and make room for his pervasive presence in our lives.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Decision

Here's a great post from Mark Batterson that's timely for making the most of 2011.
I'm a big believer in the power of one decision. You are only one decision away from a totally different life. I think we get overwhelmed by the thought of making massive changes so we don't make any! But you don't have to make big changes. You need to make small changesand then consistently follow thru on them.

one decision that will revolutionize your spiritual life: read the Bible daily.
one decision that will revolutionize your health: go to the gym 3x/week.
one decision that will revolutionize your mind: read one book a month.

What one decision would revolutionize your body, spirit or mind?

The Next Christians - a Great read

cover.gif When I first heard about this book I knew that I wanted to read it. I love learning about trends among Christians and the Church, especially the Church in America. What I expected was good news about where the Church and Christians were going and some good stories about what they are doing, and some bad news about where we're still falling short. The Next Christians contained all of that, but I got so much more.

For me, this turned out to be a book that helped me grow spiritually. Specifically, Lyon's six characteristics of Restorers gave me a great picture of how things should be in my life. I was specifically challenged and moved by the chapters on Called, not Employed and Grounded, not Distracted. The book is worth reading just for those two chapters.

I was also appreciative of his discussion of the full Gospel. There is much talk about the Gospel, but very little definition of what the Gospel actually is. I love the idea that the full Gospel involves Creation, the Fall, Redemption and Restoration. We usually leave out Creation and Restoration, and that is one reason why I think folks are disinterested in Christianity. We're not sharing and living out the full Gospel.

This book is an easy read with great stories. I highly recommend it. This book was provided courtesy of Blogging for Books.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An opportunity to be generous

I am really looking forward to our second annual Year End Gift Offering that we'll be receiving this Sunday, Dec. 19, at Hub City Church. I know it sounds strange to be looking forward to an offering, but I believe that generosity breaks the hold that greed has over so many of our lives. And many of the Hub City folks are going to go all out with their generosity.

Here's where the offering is going to go towards this year:
  • Year End Gift Offering. We'll be receiving this offering on Sunday, December 19. The goal is $4000 and we're going to split whatever comes in evenly between four ministries.
    1. To purchase medical supplies to help bring an end to the Cholera epidemic in Haiti.
    2. To local ministries like The Have and Celebrate Recovery.
    3. To reach out to our community through new signs and Guerrilla Lover projects.
    4. To purchase needed equipment to make our worship gathering even better for the unchurched and disinterested
So here's what you need to do. Ask God what he would have you or your family give, then do what he says. I challenge you to give your biggest gift to God this Christmas. That's what my family is planning to do.

You can also give online at or by mailing your gift to PO Box 55, Moore SC 29369.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    More, more and more

    I've been thinking a lot lately about organizational growth, specifically church growth. Now I know that the idea of church growth is offensive to some people, but all healthy organisms grow. My questions revolve around this main question: How can we grow in a healthy way? I don't think cancerous growth is healthy. It's fast, it can get big, but it's dangerous. But I do think that healthy growth is important. With that in mind, I came across this quote.


    On "the undisciplined pursuit of more"
    "Regulate growth, regulate reach. Do we have all our key seats filled with fantastic people? If the answer is no, we must resist growth until all those seats are filled with fantastic people."

    He says it another way in his book Good to Great. It's all about getting the right people on the bus, in the right seats, with the bus pointed in the right direction.

    So, are you in the right seat on the bus? If not, where would you be a better fit?

    The best time for an invitation

    Read this stat today. Here are theTop Five Times People Are Open To Considering Matters Of Faith…

    • #5 – After the birth of a baby (28%)
    • #4 – After a natural disaster (34%)
    • #3 – After a major national crisis i.e. 9/11 (38%)
    • #2 – During the Easter season (38%)
    • #1 – During the Christmas season (47%)
    So what's my point? Invite someone to Hub City this Sunday. Who knows, they may say yes.

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    In preparation for Sunday

    Sunday's the last week of our Coexist series. We're talking about Islam. It should be fun.

    We'll today I came across this on Perry Noble's blog. I think it's a great article and a great primer for Sunday. Read it and let me know your thoughts:

    A few months ago when I was in England I had a great conversation with a Muslim…here’s how it went…

    The group I was traveling with had to get up early to make our flight…so we had made arrangements for a driving service to pick us up at our motel and take us to the airport. It was around 4am and I stumbled through the lobby and sat down in the front seat of a car next to our driver, who I later found out was named Abdul.

    Now…I’m a firm believer in what the Scriptures teach in Acts 17:26-27, that NOTHING that happens on the planet is by accident…there is no such thing as luck or coincidence. We’re placed here on this planet as ministers of reconciliation (see II Corinthians 5:16-21) and so I began a normal conversation with Abdul and begged the Holy Spirit to open a door…

    HE did!

    I asked Abdul about his family, how long he had been working for the company he was with and we made small talk for several minutes. Then…I asked him where he was from. He told me he was originally from Bangladesh…to which I replied I had never been there. I then asked him what the primary religions of Bangladesh were and he told me that the people there were mostly Muslim, although there were some Christians.

    Then I asked him what religion he practiced.

    There was a very long pause…he gulped and then said these exact words to me, “I am a Muslim, but I’m not a terrorist.” Which was good to hear considering we were literally driving down the road at 100mph!

    I asked him why he was so quick to separate himself from the terrorists and he told me, “most Muslims are not like that. I don’t believe that if you blow yourself up you get 72 virgins…I believe if you do that you go to hell.”

    I thought that was interesting…and so we continued to talk about his religion, how devote he was and how often he was able to live out his faith. (Christians…please notice I did not begin to dismantle the Five Pillars of Islam one by one, I did not attack Muhammed, I did not talk about the perceived problems of his religion…I simply asked a lot of questions and listened. It’s amazing how people will open up when they do not feel like a project and/or attacked.)

    I then asked him the big question, “so…what do you think about Jesus?”

    He replied, “Jesus was a great man, a great prophet, but He was not God’s Son…because God doesn’t have a Son.”


    We had a great conversation about Jesus for about the next 10 minutes. Honestly, I would love to be able to end this story by saying I shared the Gospel with Abdul and that he pulled over on the side of the road and received Christ and is now the director of one of the largest Christian organizations in the world. (Isn’t that how most preacher stories go?)

    BUT…that didn’t happen. Honestly, the door for me to be able to share the Gospel never opened. AND…believe me I tried. But…as Abdul drove away I honestly felt THE reason I had come into contact with him was to ask him the question, “What do you think about Jesus?”

    As I sat in the airport that morning reflecting on all that had taken place I had several thoughts…

    #1 – The reason that many Christians can so easily hate Muslims is because they have never actually had a conversation with one. It’s hard to hate someone once you begin to understand they have a story, a family, desires…AND a SOUL!!!

    #2 – Just like all Christians are not ridiculous, sign carrying, funeral protesting idiots…all Muslims are not sitting in basements assembling bombs and planning the takeover of the world.

    #3 – The world needs to know WHO Jesus is and WHAT Jesus taught (He said something about that in Matthew 28:18-20!) Because, knowing these two things completely take away the argument that He was a good man and a great teacher but not God’s Son. (Because, if He was a good name and a great teacher/prophet…then He could not have taught lies.

    #4 – God doesn’t always want us to shove the Gospel down people’s throats…but He does want us to be available and open to walk with Him step by step.

    I will honestly have to say that my conversation with Abdul was one of the best things about my London trip. I am convinced now more than ever that all of the religions of the world do NOT basically teach the same thing…and that the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ has GOT to be preached to everyone everywhere…but it has to be done so through people actually loving, caring for and respecting the people that HE has called us to reach…because…

    …NO ONE has ever converted to Christianity because of our arrogance…but rather because of what Jesus said for us to be all about in John 13:34-35.

    Everyone has a soul…a story…a heart, and everyone needs Jesus. AND…I believe when the church is willing to move past our prejudices and our misconceptions about WHO we are trying to reach…it is THEN we will see the reality of Matthew 24:14 right before our eyes!

    Don't resist

    There's something in all of us that resists doing the right thing. There are a number of reasons we resist. Maybe we want to do the easy thing. Maybe we're comfortable and to do the right thing would mean moving out of our comfort zone. Maybe we're just stubborn.

    But don't resist. The consequences for resisting will far overshadow and outweigh the temporary costs of doing the right thing.

    A prayer that I pray for my boys all the time is that they will have the wisdom to know the wise and right thing to do, and then that they'll have the courage to do the right thing, even if it's hard. I pray that for you too.

    Don't resist.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    The effects of pornography

    It's like the elephant in the room that churches don't talk about, but we need to talk about it. We're going to talk about it in the fall of 2011 at Hub City. I came across this article about the effects of pornography. Good stuff. You can read it here.


    Lately, I have been overwhelmed by the needs, struggles and burdens that people are carrying around. So many people are struggling with so many things.

    Unfortunately, so many people are struggling alone. It doesn't need to be that way. If you're carrying a burden or struggling with a problem or sin, tell someone. We need one another.

    In light of all of this, I want to invite you to pray with me for Hub City Church (the people, not the organization). We're a family. We need to pray for one another.

    If you need prayer, email me. We have a prayer team that wants to pray for you.

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    Good reminder and encouragement

    I was encouraged by this today. Maybe it will encourage you as well.

    "If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15 (NIV)

    "God wants us to see obedience to him as a relationship of love. And out of love comes trust."

    In the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, let's pause and think back to the first Christmas. Have you ever stopped to put yourself in Joseph's shoes? Here was a guy who found out his fiancé was pregnant, claiming she was visited by an angel and it's God's baby. And she wanted him to believe her!

    In an instant Joseph's whole world was turned upside down. This was not the way his life was supposed to turn out. It just didn't make any sense.

    Do you know the feeling? Maybe you finances suddenly take a turn for the worse, or layoffs are looming at work, or you've just received news of a health crisis in your family. How are you going to handle it? What do you do when things in your life don't make sense?

    Joseph made the choice to do what God said to do and it changed everything. Joseph chose to obey God even though he didn't understand what was happening.

    Today, the word obey has a negative connotation. We view obedience as a forced, unwilling decision to do something we don't want to do because we're afraid of punishment.

    But that's not the kind of obedience that's in God's Word. Obedience in the Bible means this: love + trust + action.

    It starts with love, as Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (NIV). Obedience comes from knowing that God loves you and you love him in return.

    A lot of people think obedience is about fearing God, but God wants us to see obedience to him as a relationship of love. And out of love comes trust. If you trust what God is saying to you, and you believe that he loves you, then that will lead to action.

    You need to have all three because action without love is just rote religion. And love without action is just mere talk.

    Joseph was able to accept what Mary and the angel told him because of his relationship with God. He knew God loved him and he loved God. He trusted God and made the choice to do what God asked him to do. And because of that, Joseph's life is still impacting lives today.

    Friday, December 03, 2010

    Where have all the losers gone?

    Loved this post from Vince. Reminds me of a song I used to listen to, Jesus is for Losers.

    Let's ignore Jesus for a second. (By the way, not typically good advice.) Is there anyone in the Bible you couldn't prove is a loser in like ten seconds. You might argue Joseph or Daniel, maybe Hannah or Ruth? Out of the thousands of people, there are a handful who aren't such losers it immediately jumps out at you.

    So let's go modern day. Think about pastors, people in churches - is there anyone you could prove is a loser, at all? Maybe a handful. But most everyone appears to be just about perfect.

    So is it that the human race has so dramatically improved? Or is it that we're liars and pretend we're alright so everyone is impressed with us, while we stay sick inside, unable to get help because we won't be honest?

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Night of Worship and Baptism

    I'm pretty stoked about Hub City Church's first ever Night of Worship and Baptism. Anyone and everyone is invited. Here are the details:

    Night of Worship and Baptism
    Basically, the band is going to do an extended worship set (which many of you have been asking for) and we're going to celebrate what God is doing in some folk's lives through baptism. It'll last about an hour, and there's no sermon.

    If you want/need to get baptized, email me.

    Seriously, everyone is invited. It's going to be a blast. Feel free to invite as many people as you want.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Bathroom graffiti

    I experienced a first today. We've all been in bathrooms where the stall walls are covered in graffiti. Most of it is vulgar and stupid. Well, in the bathroom at Barnes and Noble in Spartanburg I saw a different kind of graffiti. It was political graffiti. All of it. It bashed the Tea Party, Obama, congress, Nancy Pelosi and current and past political agendas. Political graffiti in the bathroom at B & N. Who knew? Now you.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Too many choices

    I was talking with someone this morning about decisions and choices. We live in an over-choiced society. Don't get me wrong, I like having options, but what I've discovered is that the more choices we have the more likely we are to freeze up, and when we freeze up we end up not making any choices.

    I see this ALL THE TIME. I see it in some of the college students and 20-somethings that I know. I see this when my kids pour over the Toys R Us catalog as they try and figure out what they want for Christmas.

    So the question becomes: How do you make the right choice? Which way do you go?

    I'm still thinking through this, but I think that most of the time you just need to make a decision, and then be faithful to the decision. I know sometimes God says "do this, don't do that, go here, don't go there." But it's been my experience that most of the time God says "use wisdom and then be faithful."

    God has the ability to bless many of our decisions or life choices (as long as they aren't opposed to what he says in his Word).

    So, stop being paralyzed. Make a decision. Then be faithful. Don't make it a bigger deal than it is.


    Monday, November 15, 2010


    I like Vince's thoughts on being lost. It's something that those of us who are found need to remember.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Tuesday, November 09, 2010


    Lately I've been working to increase my intake of Scripture. To do that I've been reading through Paul's Epistles in their entirety. It's been good to take in the letters in whole as opposed to breaking them into sections to read like I normally do. God's showing me things that I haven't noticed before.

    If you're looking for a Bible reading idea, then try it out. Start with Galatians and read a letter a day. Then go back and do it a second time. It's just a suggestion.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    Cardboard Testimonies

    A good reminder

    I read this today from Rick Warren and thought it was a great reminder that one of you might need to hear.
    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people. Colossians 3:23 (TEV)

    "If your heart is not in it, you are in the wrong job. If you are not working with all your heart, you are sinning."

    It is important that you understand your work can be an act of worship to God. In fact, if I want God to bless my finances, I must make my work an act of worship.

    What does this mean? I'm saying that no matter what you do - sweeping the streets, running a corporation or the work of a stay-at-home mom -- your job is more than a job. The Bible says while you are here on earth, you should use your work as an act of worship.

    This means whatever you do, you are to do it with enthusiasm. If your heart is not in it, you are in the wrong job. If you are not working with all your heart, you are sinning. I didn't say that, the Bible says it.

    Why work with all your heart? Because you are working "as though you were working for the Lord and not for people." We learned yesterday that God is your salary and supply. He is also your 'boss'. There may be someone who is your supervisor, but you are really serving a higher authority. No matter what I do, if it is to prepare a meal, if it is to sign an invoice, if it is to do an analysis, if it is to close a deal, if it is to make a sale, if it is to make delivery -- whatever it is, I am to do it as if I'm doing it for God, and so it becomes an act of worship.

    Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, said you can milk cows to the glory of God. You can clean toilets to the glory of God. Why? It's your attitude that says, 'God I'm doing it as if I'm doing it for you.' For instance, Let's say you make beds in a hotel; you are probably going to make them nicer if you think, 'I'm doing this as if Jesus were going to sleep in this bed'.

    If you begin doing everything working "as though you were working for the Lord and not for people", how would the way your work change?

    Friday, October 29, 2010


    Today was Pastries with Pastor's at Nathan and Matthew's school. I must admit, it's cool being able to be my kids' pastor. And they are at the age where they think it's cool too.

    But I've got a confession to make. Whenever I get around a group of pastors I feel really inadequate and insecure. I feel like I don't have what it takes to do what I do. Most of those other guys seem like they have it all together. Me, not so much.

    Often times I feel like I'm in way over my head, but this feeling of inadequacy and insecurity is different. I believe that it's a spiritual attack.

    What refocuses me is knowing that even though I'm not perfect and have a long way to go to be the leader that God wants me to be, that I am doing exactly what God wants me to do. He has chosen me. He has called me. He knew what he was doing. And since that is the case, Satan can shut up and go to Hell, literally (James 4:7).

    I guess I'm sharing this because I'm pretty sure some of you feel inadequate and insecure at times (maybe all the time). But remember, The one who called you is faithful and he will do it (1 Thes. 5:24).

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Read this book

    There aren't many books that I think should be required reading for Christians. I think The Grace of God, by Andy Stanley, should.

    What sets Christianity apart from every other world religion is Grace, but for some reason or another Christianity seems to be known for it's lack of grace. Why is that? Maybe we never really understood what grace was all about. Maybe we didn't grow up in a grace-filled environment. Maybe grace just makes us uncomfortable. But it's defining to Christianity. It is essential to us doing what God put us on this planet to do.

    That is why you need to read this book. It's a refresher/theology/Biblical account of grace.

    So what are you waiting for? Get the book and read it. You can find a copy here.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010


    I know I've read this verse a thousand times, but it really hit home with me today.

    He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

    This is huge. The implication is that prospering and confession of sin go hand in hand. I can't get that out of my mind. It motivates me do some self-evaluation and confession.

    I'm thankful for 1 John 1:9 which says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

    We serve a forgiving God. There is no need for us to conceal our sin. There is forgiveness in mercy in confession and repentance.

    Don't wait to confess. Concealing your sin will only hurt you. Confess and renounce your sin today. And God will forgive you and purify you from all unrighteousness.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Why Christians should celebrate Halloween

    This news may not be shocking to you, but it was a bit shocking to me. I was in a Christian bookstore the other day and saw a number of anti-Halloween brochures and books. Really? Don't we have better things to do with our time?

    So in rebellion against those ridiculous pamphlets, here's my take on why Christians should celebrate Halloween.

    It's the only time during the year that you have lost/unchurched people knocking on your door. Seriously, most of the time we're the ones knocking on doors of people who don't necessarily care about what we have to say. On Halloween they come to us! This does not give you permission to preach at folks, take them down the Roman road or try and get them to pray the sinners prayer. It does mean that you get to be Jesus for your neighbors.

    Use this opportunity to get to know your neighbors. Serve them. Say nice things about the kid's costumes.

    I'm of the belief that Christians should give out the best candy in the neighborhood. We've been given extravagant grace. Let's be generous and give great candy. (This is a small pet peeve of mine: Don't give out tracks unless you're also giving out king-sized candy bars. While God can use a tract I think he would prefer to use you, so build a relationship, engage in discussion, but don't give out tracts.)

    Halloween is also a great time to teach your kids to tithe. This might sound funny, but if you like candy you can always have your kids tithe their candy to you. :)

    Many churches have the Christian Halloween substitute (trunk or treat, Fall festival, etc.). And those are all good and great (except if you make the kids dress up as a Bible character, that's just weird). The problem with those, however, is that the only people to attend, for the most part, are those who are already churched and who are looking for a safe place for their kids to get candy. If you're going to do something like this then do it on night other than Halloween, and then, do it really, really good and go out of your way to do it for those who are unchurched.

    Jesus didn't call us to safety. Jesus didn't tell us to separate ourselves from the world. Jesus didn't command us to hole-up within the four walls of our church buildings. He called and commanded us go into the world and make disciples. I think Halloween is a great opportunity. Let's not waste it this year.


    Friday, October 22, 2010

    The building question

    People sometimes ask me, "So, when is Hub City going to get a building?"

    Here's a great article about why buildings aren't all that important for churches.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010


    In some Christian circles "doubt" is looked down upon. For some reason people incorrectly equate doubt with unbelief.

    Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. Doubt is healthy and natural.

    Doubt forces us to ask questions, seek solutions and pursue God. Doubt can actually be a catalyst for spiritual growth.

    Great video

    Monday, October 18, 2010


    It's the defining mark of Christianity, but we know so little about it.

    It's given to us in abundance by God, but we have trouble extending it to others.

    I'm thinking we might do a series on it next year.

    What are your thoughts?

    If you want to read more on grace then check out What's so amazing about grace and The Grace of God. These are two great books on grace.

    The Body of Christ needs you

    I read this from a devotional that Rick Warren sent out last week and thought it was a good fit to what we're learning at Hub City this week.
    All of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT)

    "Today thousands of local churches are dying because of Christians who are unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines as spectators, and the Body suffers. "

    One reason why you need to be connected to a church family is to fulfill your calling to serve other believers in practical ways. The Bible says, "All of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it." (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT)

    Your service is essential to the Body of Christ—just ask any local church. Each of us has a role to play, and every role is important. There is no small service to God; it all matters.

    Likewise, there are no insignificant ministries in the church. Some are visible and some are behind the scenes, but all are valuable. Small or hidden ministries often make the biggest difference. In my home, the most important light is not the large chandelier in our dining room but the little night light that keeps me from stubbing my toe when I get up at night. There is no correlation between size and significance. Every ministry matters because we are all dependent on each other to function.

    What happens when one part of your body fails to function? You get sick. The rest of your body suffers. Imagine if your liver decided to start living for itself: "I'm tired! I don't want to serve the body anymore! I want a year off just to be fed. I've got to do what's best for me! Let some other part take over."

    What would happen? Your body would die. Today thousands of local churches are dying because of Christians who are unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines as spectators, and the Body suffers.

    As I said when we began this study, God calls you to a service far beyond anything you could ever imagine. He created YOU for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for you to do. (see Ephesians 2:10) Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    What breaks my heart

    I was being a little reflective this morning at the gym thinking about what breaks my heart. Here are three things that came to mind.
    • People who are far away from God, and don't care. I guess this messes me up because I know that people need Jesus. But they don't know they need Jesus. And I know what their missing out on in this life and what the next life holds. We've (I've) got to find a way to do my part in connecting them to Jesus. I want to partner with the Holy Spirit to create in them a hunger for God (I know it's primarily God's job, but I do believe we have a part to play).
    • People who are a part of Hub City for a while and then leave. Now, sometime's it's healthy for people to leave, but most of the time it's not. God wants people to be committed to a church family and stay, work through their problems and learn to love. When people choose to leave it usually results in a lost opportunity for spiritual growth. I've never been divorced and don't know what it would feel like to be divorced, but I compare this to divorcing the church. And the outcome isn't good for either party.
    • People who are a part of Hub City and then disappear. While the previous bullet's responsibility is primarily with the person who leaves, in this situation the one who's primarily responsible is me or the church. We (I) drop the ball, fail to care, forget about people and they just fade away. I confess that I drop the ball often (It's why we need each other, I need you to help me carry the ball). But this breaks my heart because I am responsible.
    What breaks your heart?

    Thursday, October 07, 2010


    Do you watch the show Parenthood? If not, you should. It's the best show on TV today.

    Here's why.

    It's a show about family, unconditional love, messiness, stress, sacrifice and a commitment to family that's almost supernatural.

    It reminds me of how the church should be. It reminds me of what Rick Warren says, Community requires commitment.

    May we be so committed to each other that we're willing to do whatever it takes to grow, stay unified, learn to love and work through our messiness.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    My Daily Goal

    I read a sentence today that really is my heart's cry. It's my prayer.

    Bill Hybels writes, My daily goal as a follower of Christ - to be acutely aware of God's activity in this world and to be willing for him to use me in accomplishing some part of it, be it large or small.

    I don't know about you, but that is extremely powerful. It's about hearing from God and doing what he says.

    May this be true of all of us today.

    Monday, October 04, 2010


    Here's my article from Saturday's Herald-Journal.

    Pray with me, please.

    There are a few things that I've been praying for on a regular basis that I'd like to invite you to pray with me about.
    1. That God would provide a leader who loves kids to create and lead a children's ministry that partners with parents to help disciple their kids.
    2. That God would provide a high level leader who is amazing at creating and running systems, and developing leaders. (Found out Vince Antonucci is praying the same thing)
    3. That God will give Hub City a house to use as an office and training area. And I do mean "give". (I drive by two every day that I think would be great)
    Here's the deal: I think we need these. I know we can't afford any of them, so we need God to provide something supernatural. I'd love it if you would pray with me for these three things. Thanks.

    What God taught me at Disney - part 2

    It's amazing what God will use to teach you and grow you if you're listening. Well, I've got to say. I wasn't really attempting to listen to God. I felt like he just butted into my Disney trip and taught me some stuff. This second thing that he taught me I'm still trying to understand and figure out. Maybe you can help.

    At Disney I'm on a mission. My mission is to ride as many rides, see as many shows and do as many things as possible in our short time in the Happiest Place on Earth.

    With that being said, I was out front, leading my family from attraction to attraction, walking as fast as my legs would take me and implying, "keep up or get left, we're here to have fun, not leisurely stroll around "Mickey-Mouse world."

    Well, while out front, with everyone else trailing behind, God said, "This is how you lead."

    I lead out front and expect others to keep up and if you don't keep up you're just going to get left behind.

    Now, this is good at times, but at other times this isn't good. I'm trying to figure out how to balance on that line. I need others to help me balance that line. I don't want to unintentionally leave people behind. If I'm out front and nobody's behind me then I'm not leading, I'm just taking a walk.

    So if you see me too far out front, tell me to slow down. I'm not trying to leave you (at least not most of you... some of you, well...).

    I'll post something later about some specific things that you can pray with me for that I think will help with this.

    What God taught me at Disney - part 1

    As some of you know, my family went to Disney last week. First off, if you're planning a trip to Disney, go in September. The crowds were super-low. We got to ride everything with almost no line and most rides we got to ride over and over again. That's my kind of trip to Disney.

    Well, going to Disney I was expecting to have fun with my family. I wasn't expecting to have God teach me a lesson or two. But you know God. He uses all kinds of stuff to teach us. I'll share one right now and another in a future post.

    The first thing God taught me is something that I have to learn over and over and over again. See, we were at Disney over a weekend, which meant that I missed out on Hub City's worship gathering. I trust Frankie to take care of things while I'm gone, so I wasn't all that worried. But walking around Epcot God, wondering how things were going, God said, "It's My church, not yours. Forget about it."

    I need to be reminded of that every day. It's Jesus' church. I'm just the under-shepherd. God doesn't need me, but he's allowed me to pastor Hub City. I love what I do. But it's his. It's a gift.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010


    I feel like the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity.

    On Sunday we celebrated Hub City's 2nd birthday. I'm so thankful for what God has done in my life and in the lives of so many others over the past 2 years. I'm so thankful for friends that we've made as a result of Hub City. And I am expectant and anticipating even greater things.

    Yesterday and today I'm helping facilitate an Immersion 1 Conference. If you are a church leader and haven't been a part of an Immersion then you are missing out. It's been so helpful in us figuring out how to make disciples who make disciples. It's an honor passing what we know along to others.

    Sometimes the whirlwind is bad. This one's a good one. Now it's off to Easley I go.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Just say no

    Most of us are too busy. I know, that may be the understatement of the year, but it's like the elephant in the room that nobody talks about.

    Well, I'm talking about it. We're too busy.

    Now, this wouldn't be that big of a deal if all it led to was greater stress, more heart attacks and less fulfillment out of life. Actually, those do make it a big deal.

    But what makes it even worse is that busyness keeps us from God. We're too distracted. We don't have time for God.

    I would go so far as to say that I think busyness and distractions that come about because of busyness keep more people from God in our culture than anything else.

    So what's the solution. To steal a line from the anti-drug campaign: Just say no. You've got to say no to some things.

    The writer of Hebrews says, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).

    The weights that he's talking about aren't bad things. They are good things. But they aren't the best things.

    You need to say no to some good things in order to say yes to the best things. Craig Groeshel says that "Just because you could do something doesn't mean you should do something."

    So, what do you need to say no to? You're too busy. You know that. And as a result you're missing out on God. You need to do whatever it takes to make time for God.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Tonight at 7 PM the Hub City Church family is starting our first ever 24 hours of fasting and prayer. As we enter what promises to be the most significant ministry season in our short history, we don’t want to take the first step without declaring our full and complete dependence upon Jesus and His power. (Thanks to my friend Jay Hardwick for the inspiration behind this guide.)

    As we prepare to fast and pray, I want to share some tips and ideas with you so that you are well-equipped for the fast.

    1. Remember why we are fasting. 2 Chronicles 7:14 sums it up well:

    …if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

    We are fasting and praying as a means of humbling ourselves before the Lord, asking God to forgive us of our sin, and asking for Him to move in power in our church, in our friends’ lives, and in our city.

    2. Determine how you will fast. The point of fasting is not just to refrain from eating. The point is to take the energy and longing we would normally have for these physical needs and direct them fully to the Lord.

    You may decide to skip a meal or refrain from all foods tomorrow. If you have not fasted before, I would suggest skipping one meal completely and eating lightly for the others. Drink water and juices and avoid caffeine, especially if you will fast from all food tomorrow.

    I would also suggest refraining completely from or severely limiting your engagement in television, social media, the internet, etc. as forms of leisure, entertainment, or time fillers. Again, the point is to hunger for God, His Word, and His presence.

    Go ahead and plan when your times of prayer and Bible reading will take place. Be sure to dedicate plenty of time to seeking God’s face throughout the day.

    For Bible reading, I would suggest reading some in Psalms, the Gospels, Acts, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.

    3. Prepare yourself spiritually. Spend considerable time at the front end of your fast confessing and repenting of sin. Confess your sins of commission and omission to the Lord and receive His grace that covers over those sins. If needed, make restitution or seek forgiveness from a person you may have sinned against. Confessing sin to the Lord is part of humbling yourself and must be done if we are going to truly seek God’s face.

    4. Pray boldly and expectantly. Pray bold prayers throughout the day. We pray bold prayers based on the sovereignty of God, the victory of Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the power of the gospel.

    Pray for the people who are close to you, but far from God. Pray for the people you are inviting to Hub City Church. Pray for the Life's a Journey campaign. Pray for God’s favor. Pray for God to move in power in our city. Pray for other churches. Pray for your personal and family needs. Pray for salvations, baptisms, and spiritual growth at Hub City Church.

    Do not pray as if you are praying to a weak and distant being who is incapable of acting. Pray knowing that you are presenting your requests to the one true God, the God “who is able to do abundantly more than all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20-21).”

    5. Respond obediently. Throughout the day as you pray and read God’s Word, He may prompt you to make a bold move of obedience. Do not resist or ignore His call! Obey and obey quickly. Remember, praying bold prayers will almost always lead to God calling us to make bold moves.

    6. Expect spiritual warfare. Obviously, the enemy is mobilizing his forces to their work of bringing about distraction, doubt, fear, and apathy in our lives tomorrow. Satan does not want our church to fast and pray because he knows that God moves in power when His people fast and pray! Expect his attacks and fight them on your knees.

    When you feel the most weak, the most vulnerable, the most frustrated, the most distracted, stop what you are doing to pray and read the scriptures. Do not fight the enemy in your strength, but in the power of God.

    I am eager to see how God will move in our lives in the weeks ahead. Take this seriously, humble yourself before the Lord, confess your sin, seek His face, and call on His power.

    Prayer Guide, Day 7


    You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11 (NIV)

    There is no power like that of prevailing prayer. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings life. It brings God." Samuel Chadwick

    God, who fills the Heaven and earth with his glory, we pray …
    • That our Celebration event will be an incredibly joyful time of testimonies of what you have done in our lives, groups, and marriages during the campaign.
    • For our Campaign Directors and teams to accomplish everything through your power and strength in order that your glory would be magnified.
    • That each person who is touched by your grace during the campaign would remember to give you the praise and glory for what you have done.
    • That the purposeful lives we are going to live will shine bright like the noonday sun in your honor.
    • That when asked for the reason for our changed lives, we will point others to you!

    Prayer Guide, Day 6


    "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:18-19 (NIV)

    "Like art, like music, like so many other disciplines, prayer can only be appreciated when you actually spend time in it. Spending time with the Master will elevate your thinking. The more you pray, the more will be revealed. You will understand. You will smile and nod your head as you identify with others who fight long battles and find great joy on their knees." Joni Eareckson Tada

    God, our everywhere-present, all-powerful, and infinitely wise King, we pray …
    • That your guidance in this spiritual growth campaign will deepen our church's faith and prayer life.
    • That each participant in the campaign would have a renewed desire to pursue spiritual habits in his or her life.
    • That each person in our church will be challenged to grow spiritually and experience your plan for living a transformed life.
    • That all participants will reflect on your purposes for their lives and act on what the Holy Spirit has revealed to them.
    • That all participants would grow in their love for you - with all their heart, soul, and mind.
    • That the congregational reading of The Purpose Driven Life will be a grace-filled turning point for the maturity of our members.
    • That all participants would surrender fully to doing their part to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in their generation.