Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I'm waiting

None of us likes to wait. We hate lines. We hate slow internet connections. We're frustrated with trips to the DMV. We live in 2014, for crying out lout! Shouldn't we have eradicated waiting like we've done with Polio? 

While we may dream of eradicating waiting, the truth is, waiting is a normal part of life.

It's also an integral part of the Advent season. We talked about waiting, and specifically, how we can wait well this past Sunday. (You can listen online here if you missed it.)

I came across a great quote this morning while reading a book by John Maxwell that I wish I'd read before Sunday. 
Think of the great men and women who continued to pursue their dreams into old age. Think of people like Moses, who at eighty years of age led 3.5 million people out of captivity. Or Caleb, who at eighty-five years of age said, "Give me that mountain." Or Colonel Sanders, who at seventy years of age discovered "finger lickin' good" chicken. Or Ray Kroc, who after seventy introduced a Big Mac to the world. Then there's Casey Stengel, who at seventy-five became the manager of the Yankees baseball team. And there's Picasso, still painting at eighty-eight, and George Washington Carver, who at eighty-one became head of the Agriculture Department. There's Thomas Edison, who at eighty-five invented the mimeograph machine, and John Wesley, who was still traveling on horseback and preaching at age eighty-eight.
Examples like this are powerful reminders that even thought we don't like waiting, God's got no problem with it. 

Which is why we need to wait proactively, not passively. What can you do to wait proactively this week?

Monday, December 01, 2014

Meet Gene

I'd like you to meet Gene. I'll let Gene introduce himself to you in his own words.                  

   I've been homeless for over 15 years.  I'm a pretty popular guy.  Everybody knows me and knows that if they need something or need to know how to get something, I'm who they ask.  I always tell people they need to come to the 3rd and 4th Saturdays at Church Builders for breakfast.
When Hub City is here things are different.  The other people that cook breakfast for us just make some food, put it out there, and then go about their business.  They don't mingle.  They're not minglers.  They don't spend time with us.  They make the bare minimum of food-- grits and eggs and coffee.  When it runs out, it runs out.  If somebody comes in late for breakfast and the food is gone, too bad.  
When you guys are in here you're always doing something special, something extra.  You always make bacon and bring fruit.  Sometimes you bring donuts or make hot chocolate.  You make so many good pancakes.  And if we run out and people are still hungry you go back to the kitchen and make more.  When a family comes in late, you find something to send home with them so they don't go hungry.  And you talk to us.  My favorite part about Saturdays is getting to talk to you guys.  It's just different when Hub City is here.  
I love that! 

It's stories like Gene's that are the reason Hub City Church partners with Church Builders to provide breakfast for the low income and homeless of Spartanburg. It's also why we are giving 10% of the 2014 Year End Gift Offering to purchasing food for Church Builders. 

It's not about the food. It's about the relationships. The food opens the doors for relationships to happen. The food paves the way for the love of Jesus to flow through Hub City volunteers.

Every year 100% of Hub City's Year End Gift Offering is given away. This year 50% of it is going to the Crosland family to support them as missionaries in Papua New Guinea. 40% is going to Alex's House Orphanage in Haiti. 10% is staying here in Spartanburg to buy breakfast food so that we can build relationships and see lives changed. 

What is your family going to give this year? Ask God, and do what he says.

You can give online or you can bring your offering with you on Sunday, December 21. Make sure to memo your gift "Year End Gift Offering."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Don't be "That Guy."

You know who "that guy" is. He/she is that overly, obnoxious, holier-than-thou, better-than-you, got-a-verse-for-everything-even-if-it's-out-of-context, person that we all know that keeps us from sharing our faith. We don't want to come across as "that guy."

We especially don't want to be "that guy" at work. 

So what we do is we keep our Christian life and our work life separate. But what if there's a way to mesh the two, shine the light of Jesus and not be "that guy"?

I think there is.

We're going to talk about how to do just that this Sunday at Hub City Church. I look forward to seeing you there at 10 AM.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to be good at being rich

This article was too good not to share in its entirety. Enjoy.

How to Be Good at Being Rich

Let’s face it—most of us are lousy money managers. But making more isn’t the solution to the problem. Instead, we need to give more away.

by Andy Stanley
Here in the United States, most of us have “rich people” problems. Don’t believe me? Ever stood in front of a closetful of clothes, trying to find something to wear? Ever traded in a perfectly good car for another car? Ever killed some time talking on your cell phone while standing in line to get a newer version of the same phone? Ever go shopping just to relax? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re rich.
If you’re still not convinced, that’s because everyone defines the word differently—and none of us think we qualify. A recent Gallup poll found that “rich” was roughly double the amount possessed by each person surveyed. In other words, people earning $30,000 a year defined a “rich” person as someone who earns $60,000. For people worth $5 million, the magic number was $10 million.
The moral of the story is this: Being rich is a moving target. No matter how much money we make, we will probably never think of ourselves as wealthy. And that’s problematic, because the New Testament writers gave very specific instructions to rich people like us. In fact, Jesus had more to say about the topic of wealth than about heaven and hell combined. So when we fail to recognize our own prosperity, we miss the crucial instructions about what we’re to do with it.
Great Blessing = Great Responsibility
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, we find a message directed at rich people: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain” (1 Tim. 6:17). Here, Paul spells out what you and I already know—that money can bring out the ugly in people.
How to Be Good at Being Rich
When we’re rich, there’s an inclination to think better of ourselves than we should. It’s also easy to treat money like a protective wall. Whenever the rich need something, they simply buy it (or buy their way out of it). But money can’t shield us from everything. It can’t buy salvation or purchase true happiness. It doesn’t make us immune to layoffs or natural disasters. And there comes a time when it can’t buy hope, either.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have plans that involve money. A savings account, a 401(k), and an insurance policy are wonderful things, but we can’t rely on the false sense of security they offer. I’m just saying that when we have money, we need to compensate for the effect it has on us.
Fortunately, Paul not only diagnoses the problem; he also gives us the antidote. Take a look at the end of the sentence. He says wealthy people should “put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (v. 17).
Did you catch that? The way to offset the side effects of wealth is to put our hope in God. Have you met people—whether they’re multimillionaires or middle class—who never put their hope in riches? How do they do it?
Here’s what Paul says next: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (v. 18). The antidote for the disease of affluenza, or being rich, is generosity! Generosity allows us to loosen our grip on possessions, cultivate gratitude, and realize why we have wealth in the first place.
Wait. Did you assume that all of your riches were for you? Sorry to break it to you. They’re not.
There’s a scene in Luke 12 where an argument about greed breaks out. So Jesus tells a story to redefine the word. “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest,” Jesus begins. The man decides to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to store the surplus. He says to himself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry” (vv. 16-19).
How to Be Good at Being Rich
That night, however, the man dies. “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God,” Jesus says (v. 21). Just to be clear, He isn’t rejecting the idea of gaining riches. He’s denouncing the assumption that everything placed in our hands is only for our benefit. This consumption assumption, as I like to call it, hinders us from practicing generosity. It keeps us from being truly thankful, too.
Giving money away can be extremely hard and may even feel irresponsible at times. That’s because we view it as our money. We forget that everything is God’s in the first place.
It’s like a museum that loans priceless works of art to another museum. Would the Louvre in Paris be satisfied if only 10 percent of the artwork loaned to the Met in New York was cared for and returned? Of course not! They’d expect the entire exhibit to be managed with absolute vigilance. The same is true of God and the money He gives us.
When you view your possessions as 100 percent God’s, generosity has room to flourish. It’s easier to give something away when it’s not really yours. Yet even with this shift in thinking, we’re still tempted to place our hope in riches. To exercise generosity regularly, we need to follow some simple principles.
The Three Ps
Let me introduce you to a way to neutralize wealth’s side effects and nurture gratitude. The first P stands for priority. Generosity won’t happen unless you make it a priority. If you wait until you feel rich, you’ll never start. Even if you feel poor—even if you’re thinking about that overdue phone bill or how you’ll ever afford those braces—you can start being generous now. Because, ironically, generosity isn’t dependent on the sum of money you give.
How to Be Good at Being Rich
The best way to prioritize generosity is to make giving the very first thing you do with your money each month. Before the mortgage. Before groceries. Whenever God richly provides income, let your first action be to acknowledge where it came from.
The second P stands for percentage. Remember Jesus’ commentary on the widow’s mite? He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44). Percentage matters more than the actual figure. Think of it like this: If Warren Buffett gives $1,000 dollars to charity and a homeless man gives a dollar, who gives a greater amount?
The Bible has a lot to say about 10 percent, so that’s where I recommend starting. Some people are squeamish  about the idea; just the thought of it makes them uncomfortable. (But the same could be said of colonoscopies, and those save thousands of lives.) If you want to protect yourself from the side effects of affluenza, the important thing is to start somewhere—even if it’s just one percent.
The third P stands for progressive. To be progressive means that over time you raise the percentage. If you’ve been giving the same amount even as your income has grown, try bumping it up to 11 percent, then 12, and so on. Here’s why: It’s possible to develop immunity to the generosity of routine giving.
I hope it doesn’t sound as if God wants to take all your money away from you. He’s a giver, not a taker. He didn’t send His Son Jesus to collect from everyone indebted to Him. He sent Jesus to give His life for you. And by calling you to acknowledge Him as the owner of your stuff, He wants to give you the freedom that comes with letting go.
Whether or not we think we’re well-to-do, we serve a God who richly provides. He is honored when we recognize our blessings and give back to Him with gratitude. Ultimately, all that we have is His, entrusted to our care to be managed well. Give freely, then! Because it’s in giving that we show the true meaning of Christ’s generosity to the world.

All Scripture references are from the NIV translation.
Adapted from the book How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When you don't know what to pray

If you're like most people, you go through periods when you don't know what to pray. I don't think that's abnormal. I actually think it's a good thing because it reminds us,or maybe I should say it reminds me to head back to the Bible, specifically, the Psalms.

The Psalms are great prayers to pray when we don't know what to pray. I think God is honored and likes it when we pray his word back to him.

So take some time this week and incorporate a Psalm into your prayer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

In Memory of a friend

One of my really good friends from my early high school days in Barstow, California, died this past Tuesday. 

Chris and I met in the youth group of First Baptist Barstow. We'd ride bikes all over town. He had a cool BB gun that we'd take out into the desert to shoot wild animals. I almost hit a jack-rabbit one time. We even had our own little pathetic gang: The Conceited Peacemakers. (I know... we really were pathetic dorks).

I think the above picture is from the summer of 1990. Chris is the kid in the glasses behind the pulpit. I'll let you scour the pic to see if you can find me. 

Chris was one of the guys that made those tough and awkward early-adolescent years better. That's what friends do.

Chris was diagnosed recently with stage 4 lung cancer. I can't imagine getting that diagnosis as a 40 year old. 

I haven't talked to Chris in years, but I am grateful that he was my friend during the two and a half years I lived in Barstow. 

This post is in memory of him and a reminder that this life is short. But this life isn't all there is. 

I'm grateful that Chris put his faith in Jesus who said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one can come to the father except through me.

My hope for whoever reads this is that you will make the same decision Chris made about Jesus. I'm pretty sure, from where he's standing now, he'd say the same thing.

**Updated picture** Found this pic with Chris and me standing next to each other and had to share.

Don't say no for someone else

I think one of the best skills we can ever develop is the learning to say no. Our time, energy and resources are limited. We can't do everything. We need to learn to say no to thing that distract us or keep us from what's best.

I'm a fan of no.

But too often, we find ourselves saying no for somebody else. 

This is a problem.

There are all kinds of ways we do this, but here's how is looks in the church world. 

We say no for someone else when we don't invite them to church because we think they'll say no.

We say no for someone when we back off from talking about Jesus because we think they aren't interested.

But what if they were to say yes, and what if they aren't waiting to say no, but are instead waiting on an invite or a conversation because they want to say yes.

Do learn to say no. Just don't say it for someone else.

I think to many of us who call ourselves Christians have been saying no for someone else for too long. Let others make their own decisions.

And use this as a motivation to invite someone to come with you Sunday to whatever worship gathering you're a part of. If you live in the Spartanburg area we would love for you to hang out with us at Hub City. 10 AM. Spartan 16 Movie Theater.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Today is one of those really important days in our culture. It's the day we get to choose who it is that governs us. For those of us who live in America, we are unique and privileged in that we get to do this. Most of our fellow humans don't have this opportunity.

But I think voting is more than an opportunity for those of us who call ourselves Christians. I think it's a responsibility.

This coming Sunday we're going to be looking at the following passage as to how it relates to our jobs, but it has something to say to us today as well.

Romans 13:1-7 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

I believe that one of the ways we submit to our governing authorities in our democratic culture is by casting our vote. And I know we're not suppose to add anything to the Scripture, and that it is all inspired by God, but I'd like to think that if Paul were writing this letter to us in America, not only would he tell us to pay our taxes, he would tell us to vote.

I really do believe our vote matters. So head on out to your local polling station and do what God has privileged you to do.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Taking God to Work

When it comes to work, no matter what job you have, those of us who call ourselves Christians often have a disconnect between our Christian life and our work life. And even if there’s not a disconnect between the two, at least there’s a tension there and we’re not sure how to bring our faith into our job.

But we serve a God who created us to work and loves it when we work. So for the next four weeks we're going to discover what God says about work and we would love for you to join us, Sundays at 10 AM at Spartan 16 Movie Theater.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Being different

Not only do the accents sound awesome, but this something I've been thinking about for years. 

How can we be different from the world around us? 

I don't think being different equates to being against. But the call is clear for those of us who call ourselves Christians are called to be different. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thoughts on worship

I shared a few thoughts on worship this past Sunday. Thought I'd repost them here.

Worship is active, not passive. Sometimes we approach the time of worship and singing as we would a concert where the professionals perform for us and we are passive listeners. I don’t think that makes God smile at all. Worship is always active and participatory. I like to think of it this way: God is the audience. We're the performers. 

Worship is both individual and corporate. Yes, we can worship by ourselves. We need to do that. But we also need to worship with one another. Something supernatural happens when followers of Jesus worship their Lord and Savior together.

Worship involves way more than singing. Singing is an expression of worship, but it's not the only expression of worship. We also worship through service, and giving, and taking communion, and listening, and obeying what God tells us to do in his word.

Worship overflows from a growing relationship with God. The catch is that it's impossible to grow in our relationship with God if we're not reading, meditating on, memorizing and obeying what God tells us in the Bible. Reading the Bible is like breathing in. Worship is like breathing out.

Join us this coming Sunday at Hub City Church for a morning of worship. 10 AM Spartan 16 Movie Theater.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The book that made your world

I mentioned this book on Sunday and wanted to put a link to it here. It's a bit difficult to read, but well worth pushing through the difficulty. 

Now, why would it be worth it to push through the difficulty and read this book? 

I believe that reading the Bible has value whether your believe it or not. This book is a sort-of history of the influence of the Bible on the world we live in. 

I also think it gives us a glimpse of what the world is going to look like if we rid it of the the Bible's influence. Suffice to say, it's not a world that you will want to live in.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The most dangerous soundtrack of all

This coming Sunday at Hub City Church I'm going to be talking about the Soundtrack of worry.

Everybody I know worries to some degree about something. Some people I know are professional worriers. It's their full time job.

But worry is dangerous. In fact, it may be the most dangerous Soundtrack of all. 

One reason worry is so dangerous is that while worrying we forget that this life is preparation for eternity. 

Liz showed me this C.S. Lewis quote that I had to cut from my sermon, but it's so good I have to share it.

“If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

That's good stuff.

I hope you'll join us Sunday at 10 AM at Spartan 16 movie theater as we learn how to push stop on the soundtrack of worry.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


If you're not getting Rick Warren's daily devotion then you're missing out on some great content. He's in a series on why you should read the Bible and it's priceless. (You can sign up here) Today's post was worth sharing:

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22 NLT)
Christian meditation means thinking about Scripture. You meditate on Scripture in the same way a cow chews her cud: by chewing on it and chewing on it and chewing on it.
The “probe-it” method of Bible study is a great way to do that. When you use this method, you probe the text with questions, almost like a jackhammer. To help you do that, I’ll share with you one of the strangest acrostics I’ve ever used: SPACEPETS. Each letter in the phrase is the first letter of a key word in a question you ask of God’s Word.
  1. Is there a SIN to confess? Does God’s Word make you aware of something you need to make right with God?
  2. Is there a PROMISE to claim? There are more than 7,000 promises in God’s Word. Ask yourself if the passage you’ve read contains a universal promise. Ask whether you’ve met all the conditions of the promise. Every promise has a premise!
  3. Is there an ATTITUDE to change? Is there something you need to think about differently? Do you need to work on a negative attitude, worry, guilt, fear, loneliness, bitterness, pride, apathy, or ego?
  4. Is there a COMMAND to obey? Is there a command you need to obey, no matter how you feel?
  5. Is there an EXAMPLE to follow? Are there positive examples to follow or negative examples to avoid?
  6. Is there a PRAYER to pray? Paul, David, Solomon, Elijah, and Isaiah, among others, pray in the Bible. You can use their prayers and know that they’ll be answered because they’re in the Bible and in God’s will.
  7. Is there an ERROR to avoid? It’s wise to learn from experience, and it’s even wiser to learn from the experience of others! We don’t have time to make all the mistakes ourselves. So what can you learn from the mistakes of those in Scripture?
  8. Is there a TRUTH to believe? Often, we’ll read something in Scripture that we can’t do anything about. We simply have to believe what it says about God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the past, the future, Heaven, Hell, or other topics in the Bible.
  9. Is there SOMETHING for which to praise God? You can always find something in a passage you can be grateful to God for, like something God has done or protected you from.
Every question in this list has a verb in it; there is something you can do associated with them. Write them in your Bible or put them on a notecard you keep with your Bible. They’ll help you be “doers of the Word” every time you meditate on the Bible.

Monday, October 06, 2014

All you need is 66 days

Every once in a while I read something that I can't stop thinking about. This rare phenomenon happened last week. It comes from a book called The One Thing by Gary Keller. I'll quote Gary:
     Contrary to what most people believe, success is not a marathon of disciplined action. Achievement doesn't require you to be a full-time disciplined person where your every action is trained and where control is the solution to every situation. Success is actually a short race--a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.     When we know something that needs to be done but isn't currently getting done, we often say, "I just need more discipline." Actually, we need the habit of doing it. And we need just enough discipline to build the habit.
I don't know what goes through your mind when you read Gary's words, but to me, it is profound. Here's why:

Our lives are shaped by our habits. Most of the time, what keeps us from getting to where we want to go are our wrong habits. They could be bad habits, but they could also be good habits that aren't the best habits. As Jim Collins says, "Good is the enemy of great."

This immediately gets me thinking about reading the Bible and spending time with God. I say all the time that the best habit you could ever develop is the habit of reading your Bible on a daily basis. I believe that down to my core.

But the number one excuse I hear all the time from people who don't have that habit developed yet is that they just need more disciple. That is both wrong and right. You don't need more discipline forever. You just need discipline long enough to develop the habit.

Gary shares that, on average, a habit is developed after 66 days.

So, why not count out 66 days from today and put a big "H" on your calendar. Start today reading your Bible. Discipline yourself to do it for the next 66 days. You can do anything for two months. You might just develop a habit that will transform your life.

Thursday, October 02, 2014


This past Sunday I started a teaching series called Soundtrack. The premise is this: 

Great movies have great soundtracks. When it comes to soundtracks, even though they aren't the focus of the movie, they impact us emotionally. The affect how we feel. Each of us has a soundtrack playing in the background of our minds. Too often, however, we're listening to the wrong soundtrack and it's affecting us negatively.

It's been difficult deciding which soundtracks to discuss. There really are so many. We started off talking about the soundtrack of guilt and shame. Related to guilt and shame is the soundtrack of regret. I didn't have time to talk about regret this past week, so I wanted to share a few thoughts that will hopefully be helpful to someone.

Regret is the feeling of sadness or loss over something in the past.

Last night Liz and I were talking about how to get rid of the soundtrack of regret. Here's what she reminded me of: 

Warning: It's simple but not easy.

The only way we know to get rid of regret is to forgive yourself. You know this, but sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.

The only way you can forgive yourself is to focus on the fact that you've been forgiven. I've said before that forgiveness only makes sense if you've been forgiven. For those of you who call yourself a Christian, remember you've been forgiven because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. (If you aren't a Christian, that forgiveness is free and it's available. All you have to do is ask.) 

The forgiveness we have received is what motivates us to forgive others. It's also what should motivate you to forgive yourself.

Liz reminded me of 2 Corinthians 10:5 which tells us to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ." We need to take captive the thoughts of regret that run rampant in our minds and replace them with reminders that we've been forgiven.

I like Colossians 3:13 which says: Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Sometimes the "others" we need to forgive are "ourselves."

I know way too many people who are consumed with regret. Hear this. Let it sink in: You've been forgiven. You can forgive yourself. Take captive every thought, including your regret. Make it obedient to Christ by forgiving yourself. And trust what God's word says about you, ie. you're forgiven, more than your feelings. Move forward doing things right the second time.

You can't change the past, but you can shape the future. The right soundtrack can make all the difference.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Three questions that will help you make wiser decisions

I have an article coming out in this Friday's Herald-Journal. I had trouble deciding what to write about so I ended up writing two articles. This is the one that's not going to be in the paper. But even though it's not going to be in print, it will now live online forever. Enjoy.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done? Actually, you may want to keep that to yourself. I’d hate for you to get arrested. But all of us have done some dumb stuff. We’ve made some dumb decisions.
 We may have never met face to face, but one thing I want for you is I want you to be better at making wise decisions. I don’t want you to get to the end of your life and for you to have a boat-load of regret. And I’m convinced that the key to avoiding regret and dumb decisions is figuring out how to make wise decisions or wise choices, and while I’m no expert, I have a few questions that help me make wiser decisions. I’ve learned that honestly answering these questions helps me in my decision-making. Feel free to steal these and start using them today.
 First, am I running from something or running to something? I think it’s smart to run if you’re being chased by a bear or a zombie. Too many of us, however, run from things that we need to work through. For example: We run from a bad marriage instead of working for a better marriage.
 What if we made sure we’re running to something instead of running away from something? What if we made sure we were running towards our calling or towards the vision for who we want to be in 20 years or towards healthy bodies and relationships? Running from never fixes what’s broken. It just pretends it not longer exists. That never works. Second, what do people I love and trust say they would do if they were me?
 When you make a decision it always affects someone else. Since this is always the case why not get someone else on the decision making process before you make the decision? Other people can see things in your blind spots. Other people know things that you don’t know.
 Third, from Andy Stanley, In light of my past experience, current circumstances and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do? Andy calls that “the best question ever.” I agree. We can ask it about any decision from buying a TV to changing a job to who you should date and marry.
 What gives power to this question is asking it at the three levels of past experience, current circumstances and future hopes and dreams. Now be honest, the reason you don’t want to ask questions like these is because you already know the answer and you don’t want to let a little wisdom get in the way of what you’ve already decided to do. But how’s that working for you so far?
 It’s time to start making wise decisions. These questions are the be-all-end-all, but they are a great place to start.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stop the name-calling

You think we'd know that calling people names isn't the way to win friends and influence people. You would think we'd know that. But in practice, we don't act like we know it.

How often do we call our opponents, the very people we'd love to win over to our side, some kind of name that immediately turns them off?

I'm reading a book right now called, Think Like a Freak, and currently I'm in a chapter titled, How to persuade people who don't want to be persuaded. It's my favorite chapter of the book so far because the title's sort of at the core of who we are as Hub City Church. It should really be a guiding pursuit of anyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus.

One of their profound pieces of advice is to keep the insults to yourself. The authors say, Have we mentioned that name-calling is a really bad idea if you wish to persuade someone who doesn't want to be persuaded?

Reading that I'm sure you're saying to yourself, "Well, duh."

But even though this seems like common sense we're constantly putting down, insulting, or name-calling those who think/believe/act/behave differently than us. We say things that further the divide of us vs. them.

So how's that working for you?

Maybe there's a better way to persuade others who don't want to be persuaded. Instead of name-calling we need a strategy that has as it's foundation respect and dignity. We need a strategy that prioritizes relationship. 

If you call yourself a Christian, that's the exact strategy your heavenly father used to persuade you. Maybe we should all follow his example.