Friday, September 30, 2011


I love learning people's stories. We all have a story and when I learn your story it makes me happy.

This past Wednesday, at our morning Hub Group, I learned the story of someone at Hub City Church. It was incredible. I hope to share it one Sunday.

But if I wouldn't have been in a Hub Group with that person I probably would have never learned their story.

Be honest, you want people to know your story, don't you. But that's not going to happen if your not in a context to have your story heard. If you're a Hub City Slicker then get in a Hub Group.

Knowing one another's stories helps me love people better. Knowing stories helps me empathize more. When you know my story and I know your story we become more human to one another. Knowing one another's stories is essential to making disciples.

If I don't know your story yet, I look forward to hearing it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Possibly traumatic

Well, tomorrow, Thursday, Nathan has to have 4 teeth pulled to get ready for spacing and braces in his mouth. Sounds fun, doesn't it. I think it might be a bit traumatic, so if you could pray for him...

On another note, I'll be selling a kidney to pay for the braces, so if you need one...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just a bit of your time

I want something from you. It's a bit of your time. Would you consider giving some of your time each week to pray for Hub City Church, Spartanburg and the world?

You can give 10 minutes a week or 10 minutes a day. You choose.

If you give us some of your time, we'll give you some things to pray for. If you're interested please email Lauren Rogers.

Here's why this is important: What God is doing, what he wants to do, what he's planted in our hearts is too big for us. We need God to show up and do something supernatural. Prayer is essential to us seeing a movement of God that is so overwhelming and surprising that it is reminiscent of the first church in Acts when everyone was filled with awe at what God was doing.

Prayer preceded every great awakening and revival in the history of the church. As we're going to see this coming Sunday at Hub City, four months of prayer prepared the way for Nehemiah to have overwhelming favor with the King of Persia and made it possible for him to accomplish in 52 days what hadn't been accomplished n 150 years.

That's why we're asking for just a bit of your time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Money and Sex

I figured the title would get your attention. The sad thing is that you didn't need my title for either of those things to get your attention. They already have your attention... and maybe more.

Money and sex are the two biggest idols in our culture. They may be the two biggest idols in the world.

I know that when you hear the word idol you think of a little statue, or Ryan Seacrest, but an idol is really anything that takes the place of God in our lives.

How do I know that money and sex are the two biggest idols in our culture?

They are the two things that people have the hardest time surrendering over to God.

Here's a test: Does your view of money and sex line up with what the Bible teaches about those things? Or do you get mad when someone (ie. "me") tries to teach what the Bible says about those things? If you got mad at me for suggesting that God wants you to handle money and treat sex in a way that is different from how you handle money and treat sex, then you probably have an idol.

I believe that if the church would rid itself of the idols of money and sex that our influence would exponentially increase and we might possibly see the greatest awaking that the world has ever experience. I think that's motivation enough to get rid of our idols.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to have "The Talk"

I read this on Vince's blog today. It's great advice. I thought it's worth reading.

"The Talk"

I've now had the privilege of having "the talk" with each of my kids. The experts suggest having it when your kids turn 8, we waited with each till they were 10. I think I'm pretty good at it, so I thought I'd share an outline of what I say to maybe help other parents who have this in their future. Here goes:
  1. First, I ask, we're going to talk about sex, so tell me what you think sex is and what you know about it.
  2. I explain that mom and I know all about sex, and so you can tell us anything you hear about it, or ask us anything about it...
  3. Then, I say, I'm going to explain what sex is, but first let's talk about marriage. Because God gave sex as something that is amazing and beautiful and powerful for married people to share.
  4. Marriage is So important to God.
  5. God wants a husband and wife to have a relationship with each other like they have with no one else. He wants them to have intimacy - to be closer with each other than any other two people AND He wants them to have children together.
  6. So what is sex? Then I tell about boy parts, girl parts, how they fit together, etc. (With my kids at least, this is where you get looks of shock, and interesting questions.)
  7. Why does God give sex? Well, remember what God wants for married people? First, intimacy. And sex gives married people intimacy. In fact, the Bible says when people have sex they become "one flesh" - it's like they're so close they almost become one person. It's like relational super glue. (I also explain here that sex feels good, allows the two people to share special feelings that they don't get to share with anyone else, etc.)
  8. And second, for them to be able to have children and be parents. Sex is how people have babies. Then I explain how that works. Daddy juice + Mommy egg = baby! (I also explain here that sex doesn't always produce babies, but it always can...)
  9. So ... sex is an awesome, perfect, beautiful gift god gives to married people.
  10. But there's a problem. Sometimes people take that gift for married people, and they use it outside of marriage.
  11. Why is that a problem? Well, remember what sex does? Well, the problem is that it does it for people who aren't married too.
  12. Sex gives two people intimacy, like they become one. And it does the same for unmarried people. The problem is that those two people then break up and go their separate ways, and it's like they ripped a piece of the other one off and take it with them. (I explain that in a little more detail, some illustrations, and I talk about the pain it causes people, and how it creates problems in marriage later - which it always does.)
  13. Sex allows people to have babies. And so when two unmarried people have sex they can also have a baby. And that's not what they want, and think about that... (More details.)
  14. So sex outside of marriage creates all kinds of problems. Inside of marriage it's awesome. (I use fire as an illustration - fire is a needed and amazing thing, but where fire is in the wrong place it is destructive...)
  15. Then I talk about puberty. Body starts changing (I explain, or mom did for our daughter), God is moving you towards the point where you can get married (if you want and He leads you to it) and you can have that kind of intimacy and have babies.
  16. Puberty is also when you start to get attracted to the opposite sex, temptations start to come to move towards sex, or have sex, before marriage. But remember that's not what God intended it for, it leads to problems and is destructive.
  17. So wait for marriage.
  18. And inside marriage, it is amazing, beautiful, etc., etc.
  19. Questions?
  20. Then I explain that we'll have this same talk (with a few added details each time) every six months...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A three-word prayer

I want to invite you to do something.

I want to invite you to pray a three-word prayer.

Lord, Surprise Us.

This is a prayer I've prayed on and off for a few years. I read yesterday that it's a prayer that Mark Batterson's church has been praying for a while. That inspired me to invite you to join me in praying: Lord, surprise us.

I've got to admit. I am surprised by all that God is doing in and through Hub City Church right now. The past two week have been the most exciting in our three year history. God is changing lives. We are actually seeing our mission happening.

But God's not done. He has more that he wants to do in us and through us.

So I dare you to join me in praying: Lord, Surprise us.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dug Down Deep - a review

I know that the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words Theology and Doctine is boring.

That shouldn't be the case. Ever. And that is what I absolutely loved about Joshua Harris' book Dug Down Deep.

Theology is the study of God. Doctrine is what we believe. What we believe about God matters. I think it matters more than ever before in the history of the church. Theology matters. Right doctrine matters.

The reason it matters isn't so that we can know all the right things. It matters because what we believe about God will determine how we act. If we have wrong beliefs then we'll have wrong behaviors. They go hand in hand.

Dug Down Deep is a very readable systematic theology. I needed to read this book. I have 98 hours of post-graduate theological education and I needed to read this book. I think you need to read it as well.

As a pastor I'm always looking for resources to suggest that would be educational, helpful and readable. This book fits those requirements. This is a book that I want everyone at Hub City Church to read. In fact, I think you should click this link and order it today.

An inconvenient truth

I came across this today. It is so true, and very much needs to be read and re-read.

As they went on their way, a man said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lie down and rest.” (Luke 9:57-58 TEV)

Jesus never calls us to blind obedience. As we follow him and become familiar with his character, we learn he is always waiting on the other side of our steps of faith. He forces us into a place where we must trust him and his promises, but he also tells us what to expect when we follow him (John 14:1-4).

He wants us to count the cost of our commitment, because he knows it will demand every thing we have (Luke 14:28). In essence, Jesus warns us away from a romantic view of following him. He understands that when we volunteer to go anywhere at any time, our romanticism will wither when our commitment becomes inconvenient — or when it collides with the full cost of discipleship.

Discipleship means we give up any thought that there will be bits and pieces of our lives that can remain unaffected by our relationship with Jesus. We can’t say “yes” to Jesus and expect to hold on to a portion of our independence. He demands it all.

We no longer have the choice to serve only when and where it is convenient for us. “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lie down and rest” (Luke 9:58 TEV).

When we have a romantic view of discipleship, we may imagine ourselves giving up everything for Jesus as the world admires our faith and people express their heartfelt gratitude for our sacrificial service.

But the cost of discipleship may bring the scorn of the world to your doorstep. When you follow Jesus and do the things he tells you to do, even fellow believers may think you’re throwing away your future to help people who can give you nothing in return. Discipleship may mean sacrificing for others who will have no appreciation for what you have done — much like Jesus was ridiculed as he died on a cross.

The grace to go wherever Jesus tells us to go comes only through the call of Christ and the power of God infused into our being. Grace obligates us to obey Jesus, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.

How much of your service to Jesus is based upon what is convenient for you, and how much of it is based upon you doing what Jesus has told you to do? Jesus loves you and plans his best for you. He brings no condemnation; he wants to turn you in the right direction.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Church

It's probably because Hub City turns three years old this Sunday, but I've been thinking about God's church. And then I read this quote today:
Through a weak and insignificant people, God displayed his power to the nations. Joshua Harris
I. Love. That.

That is may heart's cry for Hub City. I passionately want God to display his power to the nations through us, a weak and insignificant people.

We have the incredible privilege of representing God to the world. We, the Church, are what God has chosen to show the world who He is and what He is like.

John Stott says, If the church is central to God's purpose, as seen in both history and the gospel, it must surely also be central to our lives. How can we take lightly what God takes so seriously? How dare we push to the circumference what God has placed at the centre?

That's why I'm passionate about Hub City. That's why I'm excited that our weak and insignificant church is turning three. That's why I believe we haven't even scratched the surface of our potential as the body of Christ.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank You!!!

I have so many people to thank for making yesterday's baptism in the theater a success.

Jaimee Holmes: Thanks for tracking down, picking up and setting up the birthing tub for us to do the baptism in. It was perfect! And since you're one of the few people that read this blog I wanted to thank you first. :)

Shaun McMahon: Thank you for working hard to get the birthing tub filled, for vacuuming up the hose blowout that flooded the hallway, and for allowing me the privilege of baptizing you. I am pumped about what God is doing in your life. You are a servant.

Darryl Harmon: Dude, you worked hard to help set things up. You have a "whatever it takes" attitude. I am so thankful that you are a part of the Hub City family.

Stephanie Moore: It was a privilege and honor baptizing you. I am thankful for your friendship and so glad God brought you to Hub City.

The band: Josh, Jordan, Jacob, Tyson, Cheeks and Hannah. You were flat out awesome yesterday and did a great job preparing our hearts to hear from God. I wouldn't trade you for any band in the country.

Hub City Church family: I am so thankful to be your pastor. Thank you for that privilege. Greater things are yet to come. I love you guys and gals.

Finally, I want to give all the credit to God who saves us, chooses us, gives us grace and allows us to serve him.