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.