Monday, October 31, 2011

Leveraging Halloween

Halloween is one of those holidays that freaks people out. Actually, it's usually the Christians that freak out. Some boycott the event all together. Some create and participate in alternative "Fall Festivals", "Trunk or Treats", and the like.

But what if we decided to leverage Halloween for the good of the Kingdom.

Halloween is the one time of the year that you have gobs of people streaming to your door and you have the opportunity to serve them. It might possibly be the easiest way to be salt and light in our community.

So how can you leverage Halloween by serving and blessing those little scary monsters that knock on your door tonight?

First off, make sure you give out good stuff. Don't be the person that gives out toothbrushes, fruit, or a religious tract. Give out good candy. If you have the money buy the big candy bars. No one gives them out anymore and all the kids will love you.

One thing I encouraged Hub City folks to do is to take a postcard/invite from our church and tape a piece of good candy to it and hand it out with a handful of other candy. Who knows, God might just use that. It's a way for our church to leverage Halloween.

Finally, say something nice about every kid that comes to your door. Bless them. Let God shine his love through you.

My hope is that we, as Christians, will stop being known for what we're against, but for what we're for, and that our service to others will be so radical that those outside the faith will see our good deeds and come to know Jesus.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Two Levi funnies

So, Levi (my 5 year old) does the Pledge of Allegiance at school every day. He saw an American flag today and started reciting the Pledge. But he added four words: "You may be seated." His principal says that after they recite it, so it's now a new part of the Pledge.

This other funny has to do with Levi too. Some nice people gave our boys some clothes. Today Levi had on a new pair of jeans that was a part of the clothing gift. As I was picking him up from school I thought they looked a bit peculiar. Turns out they are skinny jeans. My kid looks like a Christian Hipster. (BTW: I think skinny jeans are ridiculous... just sayin')

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A healthy church

One of my passions is that Hub City Church would be a healthy church. I think we are, but I also think that staying healthy requires continual work.

This article is a great warning to us.

Church health is a whole body issue. Meaning, each part must do its part for us to stay healthy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"That" guy

Have you read through the book of Jeremiah? I'm journaling my way through it right now, something that I don't normally do, but felt like I needed to do. It's been so good.

Many things amaze me about Jeremiah. The dude was probably clinically depressed. He spoke what God wanted him to speak and didn't seem to get any results. In today's reading he takes on a false prophet and basically tells him, "You are not from God. You are not speaking the words of God. You're a liar."

Hananiah (the false prophet) was speaking on behalf of God, but wasn't speaking the truth from God.

I'm not sure why that jumped out of the page at me this morning except to be reminded of the fact that everyone who speaks on behalf of God isn't necessarily speaking the truth from God.

I don't want to be that guy. I don't want to listen to that guy.

But that guy is everywhere. May God give us wisdom and discernment to know the truth.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unwilling to serve

Today thousands of local churches are dying because of Christians unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines ... and the Body suffers. @RWToolbox

I saw that quote this morning. It is so true. I wish it weren't.

It makes us an embarrassment to God. We make him look bad.

Jesus came not to be served but to serve. As his followers that should be our mantra as well.

So, how are you going to serve today? How can you serve at work? How can you serve your family? How can you serve the person who serves you your lunch? How can you serve your boss? How can you serve your roommate?

Let us be known as a people who is in the game for the good of the body and the good of the world. It happens when we serve.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time for a change

I know that this idea isn't original with me, but I think one of our biggest problems in the American church world is what we hold up as models of success. Think about it: What comes to mind when you think of a successful church?

What comes to my mind is a huge church. The guys that are leading huge churches are the ones who get book deals, speaking gigs and church-world press. We celebrate what they are doing. We look to them to learn. They are the epitome of success as we've defined it.

I think it time we change what we think of as successful. I think it's time to change what we celebrate.

I was reading in Jeremiah today and he preached for 23 years with absolutely no result. That's not the kind of resume that's going to get you invited to Catalyst to speak. From our perspective Jeremiah is pretty much a failure.

But I' pretty sure that from God's perspective Jeremiah was a success. And here's why: He was faithful to his call.

I'm not saying that a huge church isn't successful. I just think we need to celebrate more than large groups of people. We need to celebrate faithfulness and obedience.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It starts with us

I read this today and thought, If everyone in our country acted this way then we wouldn't be seeing the Occupy Wallstreet protests. But we don't need to wait for it to start with them. It needs to start with us.

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion … your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)

What an amazing verse! God makes you rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion, which will result in thanksgiving to God.

God doesn’t bless you to be greedy; he blesses you so you can be generous. God doesn’t give you things so you can pile them up. When you let go of what’s in your hand, it’s now empty to receive greater blessings from God.

God’s giving to you is based on your attitude. That’s why it’s so important to live with an attitude of gratitude and to be content with what you have. The Bible says, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV).

When you give, you are performing a service. To serve and to give is the same thing. It’s two actions of love. You can’t love without serving and giving. Your service leads to expressions of thanksgiving to God and to contentment.

Take a moment to pray and express your gratitude to God. Ask him to show you the way to contentment. Then, ask him to bless you so you can be a blessing to others.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sit quietly

Blaise Pascal wrote, All of man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.

I love that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I love rainy days. I'm not saying I want to move to Seattle or anything, but a rainy day every once in a while is nice.

Something about the switch-up in the weather makes me use a different part of my brain. Rainy days make me reflective and introspective. That's good every once in a while. Too much of it though and I'd probably be clinically depressed.

Not sure why I'm blogging about this, but I did. If you're in the Upstate today then enjoy the rain.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What are you scared of?

This is a great post by my friend Shawn Lovejoy.

“Do not be afraid.”

It’s the most common command in the Bible. Why would that be so? Because you and I are often so afraid!

We’re afraid of being laid off. We’re afraid of being fired.We’re afraid of the future. We’re afraid of bankruptcy. We’re afraid of not measuring up. We are afraid of failure. We’re afraid of controversy. We’re afraid of not being liked. We’re afraid of criticism. We’re afraid of REALLY being known. We’re afraid of asking for help. We’re afraid to DO what we know needs to be DONE.

But why is fear such a big deal? Because fear is the number one reason we don’t obey God. Fear is the number one reason we won’t take that big step of faith.

Can you hear it? God’s trying to tell you something: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

We’re only afraid when we think we’re alone. We’re not alone. God is WITH US!