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.