Monday, December 24, 2012

Like a proud dad

Yesterday was by far my most favorite day in the history of Hub City Church. 

Why, you might ask?

Come on January 6 to find out. 

I have never been more proud to be a part of Hub City. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prayer List

I came across a list of suggestions that you can use to guide your prayers in light of last Friday's tragedy in Connecticut. 

The Christian Post has issued a prayer list for those wanting to pray specifically for the needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook school shooting last week.
  1. Pray for emotional healing for the families and friends of the people killed in this massacre.
  2. Pray for the victims familes to get the emotional, spiritual and financial support they will need to rebuild their lives.
  3. Pray for school officials as they appoint a new principal and possibly other school personnel.
  4. Pray that the missing persons will be found safe.
  5. Pray that no one will imitate Lanza's actions and attempt copycat killings.
  6. Pray for people with mental illness to be healed or to be able to cope with their illness and find the help they need.
I would add a few others:
  • Pray that many will turn to Jesus during this tragic time. Jesus is our only hope.
  • Pray for the church's as the minister and reach out to those who are hurting. Pray that they will make much of Jesus.

Taking notes

I've got to brag on Nathan, my now 12 year old son. 

Each week I tell my boys to take notes on the sermon. It's a great habit to develop and, as Mark Batterson says, The shortest pencil is longer than then longest memory.

Nathan's all into technology stuff, so yesterday he decided to take notes on his iPod. Here are his notes from my sermon. I was impressed with his detail and punctuation.

Luke 1 
Luke was a docter and he interveiwed mary.
God sent the angel gabriel 
To nazereth.
Gabe talks to mary
She was pledged to be married with Joseph.
She was 13-16
Gabe says... The lord is with u. She was troubled and wondered what was going on. The angel says do not be afraid u have found favor with God. U will give birth to a son. (She was not excited because she was not married. Getting pregnate outside of marraige was bad in Jewish culture. That was adultury and that was punishable by death.) She was to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and the he will rule over beside God. His kingdom will never end. How will this be she asked i am a virgin. The angel say you will give birth to the son of God. Mary's cousin elizebeth was also pregnant. For nothing is impossible with God! With God! Luke 1:37
(God plus nothing equals everything.) I am the lords servant may it be to me as u have said. Then the angel left her. 
Are you doing life with or without God?

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Manhood Challenge

Nathan turned 12 yesterday. I can't believe he's 12. I really can't believe he's one year away from being a teenager. Crazy.

We celebrated with his favorite dinner, German-chocolate cake and presents. But I had a special gift for Nathan. It's called the Manhood Challenge. 

This is something I've been thinking about for about 5 years, ever since I read about Mark Batterson doing something like this. Basically, the Manhood Challenge is a year-long commitment of intentional discipleship between Nathan and me. I'll give the same gift to Matthew and Levi when they turn 12 too. I wanted to share it with you because I want you do intentionally disciple your kids. 

12/13/2012 Nathan, Happy Birthday! I am so proud of the man that you are becoming. I can remember the day you were born. It changed my life. And come to think of it, it changed yours as well. You are a great kid. But your time as a kid is almost up… even though you’ll always be my kid. As you know so well, in one year you will turn 13. This coming year is a big one for you. You are transforming from a child into a young man. So with that in mind I have something I want us to do together this year. I call it the Manhood Challenge. The Manhood Challenge has three parts:
  • A physical challenge.
  • An intellectual challenge.
  • A spiritual challenge.
Let me explain each one. First, there’s a physical challenge. It is so important that you learn to take care of your body. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6 that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to be good stewards of our physical bodies. So here’s what I want us to do together this year. I want us to do some physical challenge together. This could be running a 5K, doing a difficult hike, participating in a mud-run, or some other physical feat.
 Second, is the intellectual challenge. It is essential that you learn to develop your mind. You are doing that in school, but it’s more important that you learn to develop your mind on your own. Jesus says that we are to love God with all of your mind. Part of doing that is growing our intellect. This challenge will involve you and I reading 4-6 books together this year. They will challenge both of us. I have some books picked out, but I want your input as well. Here are the books I want us to read:
  • In a pit with a lion on a snowy day – Mark Batterson
  • The Screwtape letters – C.S. Lewis
  • More than a carpenter – Josh McDowell
  • Draw the Circle – Mark Batterson
 Finally is the spiritual challenge. More than anything else I want you to develop a healthy and growing relationship with Jesus. This is the foundation of everything in life. The best way to do this is to spend time in God’s Word. The best habit you could ever develop is the habit of reading your Bible on a daily basis. Here’s what we’re going to do: Basically, you and I are going to go through the story of the Bible this year. We’ll memorize some important scriptures along the way. You’ll be getting a gift at Christmas to help facilitate this challenge for both of us. I love you. I love who you are becoming. And I know that God has something he wants you to do with your life. He has big plans for you. I can’t wait to take this Manhood Challenge journey with you over this year. Accomplishing these feats is going to be a challenge. It’s going to take hard work and sacrifice and discipline for both of us. But I am so excited about working through these challenges together with you. I love you. I am proud that you are my son. Love, Dad Manhood Challenge Commitment I, ___________________________, commit to join with my dad to take up the Manhood Challenge. Signed ___________________________________  Date _______________ Printed name __________________________________________________ Dad’s signature _________________________________________________

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thinking of you

Be honest, how often do you think of others before yourself? If "0" is "never" and "10" is "all the time," where would you rate yourself?

I think most of us would rate ourselves around a 7 or 8. But in reality I think we're more like a 2 or 3.

This shouldn't surprise us. We are inherently selfish. We come out of our mommas that way. 

Paul knew this. That's why he wrote: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4).

We're blind to our selfishness. That means we need to be intentional about thinking of others first.

But this is so hard to do. It means we have to retrain ourselves. And there's no better time to start than now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Prayer-walking Morgan Square

I know this idea is late, but better late than never.

We've got two more Movies at the Rink. Our next one is December 22. The final one is January 5. 

Here's my idea: I think we should prayer-walk Morgan Square in anticipation of what God might do. 

So who's with me? Pick a time and prayer-walk Morgan Square. Circle the square in prayer. 

Don't know what to pray? Ask God to tell you what to pray. You'll be surprised what he brings to mind.

Mark Batterson says, If you pray regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis. That's what I want.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Best graphic ever

I need to give props to Frankie Creel for the graphic for Hub City's upcoming series, A Christmas Story. It may be his best creation so far.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Bold as Love

Once and a while you come across a book that resonates deep within your soul. Bold as Love is one of those books for me.

I've been a fan of Bob Robert's books for a while, but his latest is by far my favorite. The main reason I love it, and you should read it, is that it's focus is on relationships. Specifically he challenges those of us who are Christians to build relationships with Muslims. There is power in relationship. 

Another reason this is a great book to read is that it is so readable. It's not too long. The stories are fantastic. It's one of those books that you'll like to read even if you don't like to read. Actually, I was sad when the book was over. I wanted more. I rarely say that about books.

One final thing made this book worth my time (and hopefully yours when you get it and read it). It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I had no idea which direction he was taking the book. It wasn't the usual Christian content. He challenges Jesus' disciples to do something that is profound, radical and controversial in our current evangelical climate.

I could tell you more, but I would rather you just read the book. You won't regret it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tragedy averted

I have good news to share. Tragedy has been averted in the Everette home.

Yesterday I went up in the attic looking for our artificial Christmas tree. Last year I gave into the pressure to get a real tree, but this year Liz left the door open for us to set up our artificial one. 

I thought I'd put the pressure on her this year by having it set up when she got home... as a surprise. Because surprises like that are always the right thing to do.

Well, much to my dismay, the artificial tree was nowhere to be found. I searched the entire attic. It was then that I vaguely remembered giving the tree away to someone last year.

I don't remember who you are, but I was cursing you all afternoon for accepting the tree I graciously gave.

That is until I went to dinner with my in-laws at the Cracker Barrel last night. They, like my parents, have forests of artificial trees growing in their attics and crawl spaces. Which means... (drum roll)...

We now have one of their artificial trees growing in my living room! 

Which also means... (drum roll)...

I don't have to go out and buy a real tree!

I consider this my contribution to helping the environment.

On a side note, did you read about the study that came out this week that said the marriages in which husbands have a good relationship with their in-laws are 20% more likely to stay together. So I wasn't just getting a tree. I was bonding with my in-laws, which means... (drum roll)...

I invested in the health of my marriage!

Who knew how good getting an artificial tree could be for my family?!?! Tragedy averted.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wisdom from a Muslim

I was reading the other day about a conversation Bob Roberts (a Christian pastor from Texas) was having with one of his Muslim friends.

The Muslim friend said to Bob: Bob, you Americans marry the one you love. We love the one we marry.

There is so much wisdom in that statement. I wish more of us would love the one we married.

It reminds me of something I read from Rick Warren this morning:
Love does not just happen to you. Love is a choice, and it represents a commitment.
There is no doubt about it: Attraction is uncontrollable, and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is choice.
My prayer for those of us who are married, or who want to be married one day, will choose to love the one we marry, until death do us part.

And I know the rewards for making this choice will far surpass our deceptive feelings which come and go like the ocean tides.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I like least about Winter

Want to know what I like least about Winter?

It could be the cold, but that's not it.

It could be all the dead grass that gets tracked into my house. But that's not it either.

The thing I like least about winter is static electricity. I am 100% confident that if scientists could figure out how to wire me I could supply power to the entire state of South Carolina from just the static electricity that comes from my clothes, body and vehicles.

It's so much it's shocking (I couldn't resist).

I thought I was going to spontaneously combust at the funeral I was at last night because my suit was so electrified.

Am I the only one with this problem? Does anyone out there have a solution?

In the meantime I'm going to start carrying a fire extinguisher with me wherever I go, just in case I break out in flame.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am reading an incredible book right now by Bob Roberts titled Bold as Love. You should ask Santa for it for Christmas. It is so, so good.

Bob makes a statement on page 52 that jumped off the page and hit me in the face. He writes: We want security; God wants exposure so that he's glorified.

God wants exposure.

Just let that sink in. How often do we make it our life's priority to expose God so that he is glorified? We're to focused on ourselves. Or at least I am.

But God wants exposure so that he's glorified.

BTW: That's why we're doing Movies in the Rink. We want to expose God to our community.

God wants you and I to use our lives to expose him to the world.

Year End Gift Offering - Church Builders

It's Year End Gift Offering time around Hub City Church. Each year we take up a special offering at the end of the year with all contributions going to special projects. This year we're giving the entire Year End Gift Offering away. All 100% of it.

Yesterday I shared how we're giving away 60% of our Year End Offering to Alex's House

But for the mathletes out there you know we still have 40% to give away. So what is it going to?

I'm excited to announce that 25% of the 2012 Year End Gift Offering is going to go to Church Builders.

Church Builders is doing incredible work in Spartanburg with those in the lower income or no income bracket. For about a year we've had a team serving breakfast on the 4th Saturday of the month with Church Builders. 

But they do more than breakfast once a week. Pastor Jim has a big vision for 2013. And your giving will help them accomplish that vision. Specifically, Pastor Jim shared two big projects that our contributions will go towards.
(1) They provide a "children's church" of sorts to the community currently and with the adoption of a local housing projects and also a new partnership with Cleveland Academy of Learning they are expecting their numbers to rise from 40 to around 200 kids. They need things like chairs, learning equipment and they use a system to wall off classrooms involving magnetic paint and mobile wall system.
(2) They are in the process of working to complete construction of their 24-hour supervised youth room.
We get to help them make these things happen.

But what I really love about our partnership with Church Builders is that we both have the same mission: Make disciples who make disciples.

That means, when we help them, we're actually accomplishing the mission of Hub City Church.

So like I said yesterday, give and give generously. Our goal for 2012 is $6000. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Year End Gift Offering - Alex's House

I shared last week that it is time for Hub City's 2012 Year End Gift Offering. We've set a goal of $6000, which is insane, I know. 

And what's really crazy is that whatever we give to the Year End Gift Offering is going to projects outside of Hub City Church. That's right, we're giving it all away! All 100% of it.

So what's it going to? Well, 60% of it is going to Alex's House Orphanage in Haiti. 

We are privileged to partner with Alex's House through monthly financial giving (5% of our regular tithes and offerings goes to them each month). We also send teams to Haiti on a regular basis (we've got a trip March 16-23 and August 3-10, we have a spot for you).

But this year we're going to go a step further and contribute 60% of the Year End Gift Offering to Alex's House. What will that money go towards? I copied this graphic from their website to give you a glimpse of what your Year End Gift contributions will do in Haiti.

So, what are you going to give this year? Be generous. Your gift will make a huge difference in the lives of some Haitian orphans.

Friday, November 16, 2012

We're giving it all away

I'm excited because it's that time of the year around Hub City that we call Year End Gift Offering time. 

I'm not excited that we're having another offering just to have another offering. That would be ridiculous. 

I'm excited because we're giving away 100% of the Year End Gift Offering this year! We're giving it all away!

Where, you ask?

60% is going to Alex's House Orphanage
25% is going to Church Builders
15% is going to help some families who need a little help.

Next week I'll be posting more specifics on what the funds will go to in each of these ministries. 

Oh, I almost forgot. We've set a radically outrageous goal for the 2012 Year End Gift Offering: $6000. But I think we could break that... which means we're going to have to be generous. 

I can't wait to see all we get to give away this year!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Your service is desperately needed in the Body of Christ

A great devotion from Rick Warren. 
“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)

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 desperately needed in 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 (based on Ephesians 2:10 TEV). Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God.

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Blessed Church - a review

If you're a church leader, or if you care about your local church at all, then you want your church to be blessed, right? 

Robert Morris in The Blessed Church, give us his church's (Gateway) formula for being a blessed church. I think this is a valuable book for church leaders. There is a lot of practical advice. 

The book's best idea is that of "relationships before issues." I love that. So often we let issues destroy relationships. But we should prioritize relationships before issues. Man, if we could just do that....

I also appreciated how many of the lessons learned came from difficult times. That's been my experience. But almost no one shares the struggles and reality. Morris shares some of the mess. That's healthy and helpful.

My only objection with The Blessed Church is that oftentimes it comes across with an arrogant tone. I wish that would have been edited out. If that would have happened I think this book would have been more helpful.

But I still think this book would be good for church leaders to read, not a "must read,"but a good read. It reads fast (which I appreciate). And it has some practical insight. 

This book was provided courtesy of Blogging for Books from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing Group. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

If I Could Have A Beer With Jesus

Have you heard this song? Just came across it. I'm not a fan of country. But this song intrigues me.

What are your thoughts?

My thoughts: People aren't turned off by Jesus, so maybe if we focused on shining the light on who Jesus is and what he's like instead of getting sidetracked on secondary issues, maybe more people might choose to follow him. That's what I want to see happen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Take responsibility

This morning, on my way to my Wednesday AM Hub Group, a question popped into my head:

What could happen if we each took responsibility for the spiritual condition of the people God has put in our lives?

Think about it this way: God has given you friends and acquaintances. Your kids play sports with them. You work next to them every day. You see them in the same checkout line at the store each week. You live across the street from them.

I believe that God has either put you, or allowed you to be where you are, in the relationships that your in, because he wants to use you to reach those who are far away from him.

I also like to say it this way: You are where you are on purpose for a purpose. 

But that means you have to take responsibility. So how do you do that?

It begins with prayer. Pray for your friends, co-workers, neighbors. Pray for each person in your circle of influence. That's where it begins. But don't stop with prayer. 

Next do what you can to continue to build a relationship with those in your circle of influence. Care about them. Get to know them. Shoot the breeze. Talk football. Talk kids. Find out about their dog. 

Finally, look for opportunities to share Jesus. This may be with an invitation to your church. It may also be you sharing how Jesus has helped you. God may even use you to let them know that Jesus died for them and rose from the dead. Actually, I think God wants to use all of you to help people move from death to life.

But that means you've got to take responsibility for the people God has put in your life. That's my challenge for you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


One of the things that amazes me about God is that he wants us, his creation, to think for ourselves. He didn't create robot. He created thinking beings.

Throughout the 66 books that make up the Bible we're told to think. The wording that is often used revolves around being wise or living wisely. Wisdom is foundational to how God wants his followers to live. 

But wisdom doesn't just happen. We must pursue wisdom. 

A great place to start is to read a chapter from Proverbs every day. You don't even have to be a Christian to start there. The wealth of wisdom in Proverbs is available and relevant to everyone. 

Think as you read. And as you read let God change the way you think. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Big day for Hub City

Hub City Church got a nice gift today. We are featured in an article in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 

It's really cool to me because the article came out on the same day as my commentary. My mother-in-law called it a "real coup." 

Now my prayer is the same as David's in Psalm 115:1 - Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


After reading the following post from Vince Antonucci I want to read this book.

Recently finished the great book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. It is a great book and I thought I'd share a few insights from it this week...

Susan Cain writes about the power of isolation in creativity and innovation. She cites a variety of studies. Like one where they divided up expert violinists at the elite Music Academy in West Berlin into three groups - good, great, and best. What led to the difference in ability? One thing. The best musicians spent way more time practicing in solitude.
Or the U.C. Berkeley study were they sought to identify the most "spectacularly creative people and then figure out what made them different from everybody else" examining architects, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and writers. So what was the answer? They worked alone.
Or the University of Minnesota study of advertising executives who were asked to participate in both solitary and group brainstorming sessions. "The results were unambiguous. The men in twenty-three of the twenty-four groups produced more ideas when they worked on their own than when they worked as a group. They also produced ideas of equal or higher quality when working individually."
Or the research done into the increasingly popular "open space" work environments, which have proven that people produce more and better quality work when they have their offices and can close their doors.
So ... the research is in. Working alone isn't just for introverts, it's for people who want to do more and better work.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Thoughts from our Haiti trip

I’ve taken a couple of days to process our week in Haiti and have a few thoughts.

The first thing I want to say is how much I love and appreciate the team that went from Hub City. They were awesome. They were a picture of flexibility and hard work. They went above and beyond and had a “whatever-it-takes” attitude.  I am proud of each of you and so glad to be a family with you.

Speaking of our team, we left two of our team in Haiti. Mike and Neal stayed back to finish plumbing all the cottages and kitchens. This is a true testimony of what it means to be a servant. They are supposed to return to the states on Wednesday.

One of our team members was my wife. It was incredible sharing this experience with her. One of our family values is shared experiences. I am so grateful we could share this experience. And I love how many of our team want to go back with their respective spouses.

Saturday was our return day. On the trip from Kalico to PAP Bill stopped by the mass gravesite. It was sobering to say the least. 300,000 people tossed into one big hole. That’s more people than live in Spartanburg county. Words really are inadequate. The tragic part of it is that you could drive by and not even know it’s there.

One of my biggest takeaways for the week is that I was reminded that there is more to life than my little world. We know that intellectually, but we don’t usually live like it. I get consumed with Hub City and Sunday and sermons and our issues. But all of that, while important, is just a small piece in a much larger puzzle. I’ve been trying to put this concept into words, but it’s one of those ambiguous ideas in my head that I can’t quite wrap words around. All I know is that I needed this change of perspective.

Finally, I want to ask you to pray for Bill Howard. He works so hard. Haiti is a tough place to be. Just the way things are done in Haiti is enough to drive the most patient person insane. I equate the building of the new Alex’s House property with trying ot build a house but having to get all of your supplies by shopping at garage sales. It’s a different world. So with that in mind, Bill could use your prayers.

I’ve posted 319 pictures from the trip on my facebook page for those who are interested.

It is an honor partnering with Alex’s House. I can’t wait for teams from Hub City to go serve in 2013. The dates are March 16-23 and August 3-10. So, who’s going with us next year? 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Day 7 from Haiti

Today was move in day. 

But before move-in could happen a lot of work needed to be finished: Grouting, clean-up, unpacking the kitchen supplies, and more plumbing. Marc build 6 stools to be used in the bathrooms so that the kids could reach the sinks.

Mike and Neal made the decision to not return with us on Saturday, but to stay a few more days so they could finish all the plumbing for the cottages. I can't say enough about their servant attitudes. They have worked tirelessly and have done such a great job. Just think about it, the kids will have showers a plenty, 3 toilets and three sinks per cabin. The house parents will each have their own room and bathroom, with toilet, sink and shower. This alone is unheard of in Haiti. And they can thank Mike and Neal for hooking it all up. Not sure when these two guys will make it back to the States, so pray we can get them on a flight sometime soon.

There really aren't words to describe what it was like for the kids to see their new home for the first time. They were claiming beds. Checking out the new bathrooms. Exploring the property. And running around playing tag, soccer and being kids. 

I am grateful that we got to be a part of this. But there have been groups coming and working for months leading up to today. It reminded me of what the Apostle Paul said about how some plant and some water. Many had a part to play in getting to today. I am thankful for each of the groups that made this possible.

I have to share a quick story about something that happened during clean-up. Haiti has no trash pickup. Most people just throw their trash on the ground. Trash is everywhere. But those wishing to take care of their property burn their trash. We started a trash burn outside of the wall and were throwing all the scraps we could find into the fire when a boy came up and asked us to give him the scraps instead. His name was Kinston and he was 16. He took every scrap piece of wood and sheetrock that we would give him. This messed me up. I can't imagine my kids out collecting scraps. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 6

Day 6

I am writing about day six on day seven. It was by far one of the most difficult days for me. I can guarantee that I have worked harder on this trip than any mission trip I have ever been on. Some of the overachievers left to work at 6 am. That would not be me. I could barely drag myself out of bed at 6:30 to make it to the worksite by 8:15.

But man was it a good day. Marc and I got into a rhythm with the screens. Liz, Jaimee and Kenzie jumped in to help and we had a great assembly line going. Almost finished all of them.

I have to say a word about the food. Miss Betty's kitchen staff is amazing. The food they prepare for breakfast and supper is awesome. However, I am tired of the protein bars and freeze dried apples that I brought for lunch.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Haiti day 4 and 5

Day 4

Exhausted. That is how I feel. But today was a fun day. Mark and I made a cabinet today. And it is awesome! Best Cabernet ever. A miraculous feat of engineering. I would post a pic if I could, but then you might want to hire us, and we only do our best for orphans.

In all seriousness it was great to build something that is going to make a difference. That's what the whole team did today. And I know I said this last night, but I am so proud of our Hub City Slickers, they have worked so hard. Liz looked so cute with pink, oil-based paint all over her.

Today's cultural lesson: We all know Haiti is a different world. We needed supplies, so Bill took the truck to the big hardware store. It is in Port-au-Prince. I am told that you are welcomed into the store by a greeter wielding a machine gun. Wonder if that would fly at Costco? We take for granted that we can run to the store and grab whatever we need. You can't do that here. It toke Bill 10 hours to get the supplies we needed. I won't complain about the lines in Walmart any more. And I bet machine guns would cut down on shoplifting.

By the way, the goats multiplied exponentially overnight.

I have no mo energy to write.

Day 5

I don't like roughing it. My idea of the perfect camping trip involves staying at the Embassy Suites.

We aren't staying at the Embassy Suites. The term "roughing it" is too luxurious of a term for the accommodations. Not really...well, maybe really. Cleanliness standards in Haiti aren't the same as back home. One guy wanted to exchange his towel for a clean one. The helper gave him a bucket where he cd hand wash it. The bed Liz and I are on is on the floor. This afternoon's shower was barely a trickle.

I don't share this to complain. I share it to contrast life in Haiti and life at home. We have so much. We're oblivious to how good we have it. And for all my Hub City family who want to come, I want you to know what you are getting into. I don't want this to keep you at home. That would be childish and sort-of wimpy. Haiti's just a different world. And I am so glad I can be here.

My greatest disappointment so far has been that we've not been able to see the kids. We are doing work that is needed. We have a day and a half to get the property move-in ready. There hasn't been the time to hang out with and play with the kids. They are in Port-au-Prince. We are two hours away. But God is teaching me how important it is to do what's needed more than doing what I want. It's not about me anyway.

And who knew Haiti had turkeys? Chickens, yes. Horses, yes, cows, yes. Millions of goats, yes. But turkeys, yes!

On a construction note, Marc and I attempted to screen the windows. Hardest project ever. The shelf we made yesterday was a better demonstration of our carpentry skills. Today was torturous. But things ae coming together. So glad we get to experience move in on Friday.

And so on that note I will end.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 3 from Haiti

Day 3

I got to drive in Haiti. Granted, it was only a half mile, but hey, I got to drive in Haiti. For those of you who've been I drove the white, tap-tap truck... with passengers... and no one died.

Now on to important stuff. We started working today. The list of things to get done before Friday seems infinite, but you should have seen our people working their tails off.  The girls were masters of the paint sprayer. Neal and Mike have been killing it. So glad they are here. Marc scaled a water tower to help hoist the 600 gallon cistern. And I carried a lot of rocks in a wheelbarrow. I am very proud of our team. They worked so hard today and drank kits of water (I am the water Nazi). Tomorrow Marc and I get to build a counter in the kitchen. Home improvement Haitian style.

I got to take a small field trip to some Haitian hardware stores. What an experience. You go in and they have just a bunch of mismatched stuff. Neither store (if you could call it a store) had what we needed. Makes me thankful for Home Depot.

I have to say something about the goats. We saw goats last time we ere here, but I thing they may be having a goat apocalypse. They a everywhere. Lots of baby goats.

On a serious note, we have so much to do before the kids move in so please pray for efficiency. This new location will be like moving from a trailer park to Beverly Hills. The new facility is incredible. currently 30 people are living in a 600 sq. ft. place with two toilets. They are moving to a place with 16 toilets, four cottages and an amazing dinning room.

Also pray for Bill. His back is bothering him big time.

And did I mention how hot it is?

I could write more, but I am physically exhausted.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Haiti day 1 and 2

Haiti Day 1

The thing you have to have when you go on a trip like this is a good dose of flexibility. That's because we spent our first three hour in Haiti waiting in the parking lot of the airport waiting for another team to arrive. It appears that all planes coming to Haiti are required by Haitian law, or some law, to be delayed indefinitely. But hey, we're flexible.

And everyone knows it wouldn't be a good mission trip without a bit of bloodshed. However, we weren't expecting that it would be within the first few hours of us getting into Port-au-Prince. A female member, whom shall remand unnamed, also who was not from Hub City, had a minor spill in the airport parking lot, hit her head, shed a lot of blood, and gave Liz an opportunity to put her nursing skills to work. Nothing like minor surgery in the front seat of an old yellow school bus. Memories!

On a sentimental note, I am so glad to be here with Liz. We get to room together, which is awesome, but hot as hades. I can't wait to share this experience with her.

The final thing I will say is that it is hot. Really hot.

Day 2

This is a different world. We started the day with worship with a local Haitian church. Those folks sing loud. And they don't have a sound system. Neither do they have air conditioning. Nor a bathroom. But when in Haiti...pee behind a rock.

Speaking of peeling, Liz had to use the potty after worship. The "women's" toilet was an open cinder block outhouse with a concrete pillar/hole. But it's what she got to do after peeing that was so cool. Amy took her up the mountain a bit to see the house she they rescued three boys a little while ago. Words can't really describe the expireience. The shack had sticks that were woven together to make the walls and a tarp roof. Unbelievable living conditions. Beak your heart conditions.

Afterwards we went to a Haitian restaurant for lunch. Amazing. Seriously. So good. I made myself sick with how much I ate. Chicken, some dorm of spicy slaw, French fries (because Haiti used to be a French colony), rice and beans, plantains, and a soda for desert.

We then toured the orphanage property. I cannot believe the change and how incdible it looked. I was overwhelmed emotionally thinking how much had been done since we were here in March. But we have so much to do.

We couldn't start work today, so what do we do instead? We visit Obama beach, that's what. The water was great. Wish I could go every evening.

I think this is all I can sha tonight. I am about to fall over dead asleep. It was so hot in our room last night that I maybe slept an hour. Here's to a hopefully better night's sleep tonight.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Check back

Just wanted to give all three of you who read this a heads up. I'm hoping to make regular posts next week from Haiti. Provided I can get internet connection sometime.

I know you'll be on the edge of your seat and have trouble sleeping until a post goes live. I get that. Until then, eat some ice cream and think of me. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wanna send something to Haiti with us?

Some of you know this, but our team of 10 from Hub City leaves for Haiti on Saturday morning. I just talked with Amy Hobbs about some things that Alex's House could use. Here's the list:

  • Towels (kaki/beige)
  • Full sheet sets (5 in kaki/beige)
  • Bath matt sets
  • Diapers
  • Duck tape
  • Any gently used kitchen supplies you want to donate

I know this is last minute, but if you want to go out and purchase any of these items and get them to me, we will pack them and get them to Alex's House. We need them by Friday at the latest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why we're working in Haiti

This Saturday, 10 people from Hub City Church will be traveling to Haiti to work with Alex's House Orphanage. We can't wait to leave (even though most of us have yet to begin packing). We would really appreciate your prayers.

There are a number of reason why Hub City Church has partnered with Alex's House Orphanage in Haiti. One reason can be found in an article that was posted on Fox News' Business website about the 10 poorest countries in the world.

Guess who's number 1?

That's right, Haiti. Look at what it says:

1. Haiti
Poverty rate: 77%
Population: 10,123,787
GDP: $7.35 billion (66th lowest)
GDP per capita: $726 (22nd lowest)
The World Bank notes that more than half of Haiti’s population lives on less than $1 a day, while about 80% of the country lives on less than $2 a day. The country’s estimated unemployment rate as of 2010 was 40.6%. The impoverished nation is in a state of rebuilding since a devastating earthquake hit the country in 2010. According to a USAID report, the death toll from the earthquake was between 46,000 and 85,000, while the official figure by the Haitian government estimated the death toll at 316,000. The World Bank estimates that damages from earthquake totaled $8 billion, or about 120% of gross domestic product.
Read more:

Pictures from Hub City's 4th year

Big thanks to Jason Burnett and Brett Wingard for putting these pics into a show to share. I love the Hub City Church family. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

For my pregnant friends

Having a baby is such an exciting thing. Children are gifts from God, most of the time.

But when you're pregnant, one thing that you must do is decide on a name for your little bundle of joy.

I have a small suggestion for you:

Make sure that whatever name you choose passes the "banana-fo-fana song" test. This clearly eliminates names like Mitch and Buck.

This will prevent needless ridicule towards your child in those important Elementary years.

No need to thank me. Thank Vince Antonucci who taught me this in his book I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

For my married friends

I figured I'd better post something for my married friends since I posted something for my single friends two days ago. I wouldn't want anyone to feel left out.

I think the single greatest habit you need to exercise regularly in marriage is the habit of forgiveness. 

We should be continually extending forgiveness to our spouses (and to our kids and coworkers and bosses and friends and politicians and ...). Forgiveness should be a habit.


Because we've been forgiven! 

Bitterness kills. Grudges kill. Keeping score kills. 

What's the antidote?

Forgive one another just as Christ forgave you. Make it a habit. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

For my single friends

Don't expect the person you date, or the person you hope to marry someday, to be your savior. You only have one savior: Jesus. If you get Jesus confused with Mr./Mrs. Right then you're setting the entire relationship up for huge problems. 

What that means is that you need to fall in love with Jesus first and foremost. Seriously, date Jesus. And let him be your savior. Make Jesus your priority. 

That's the key to a healthy dating and future-married relationship. 

On a related note, I think this is where a lot of marriages run into problems. We expect our spouse to be our savior. This ain't nothin' but old-fashioned idolatry. And idolatry never turns out good in the end.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Happy Belated Anniversary to me

Last Friday Liz and I celebrated 16 years of being married. I am so grateful for Liz. She is an amazing wife. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for her. 

And I think she's pretty lucky herself to have married me. :)

Sixteen years is a long time. I know a lot of couples who haven't made it that long. That's why I want to point you to some blog posts I read last week. What Vince writes here, here and here is so true. 

Not only do I want Liz and my marriage to go the distance. I want that for your marriage too.