Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Take responsibility for ONE

I have a challenge for my fellow Jesus followers, especially for those of you who are a part of the Hub City Church family.

I challenge each of you to take responsibility for one person over the next year. That responsibility includes sharing with them the love of Jesus, introducing them to Jesus, walking with them as they become a follower of Jesus, and then helping them become an active part of your local church (Hub City Church, if you're a part of the fam).

In fact, you can start this week. What if you took responsibility for bringing one person to our worship gathering on Sunday who's not got a worship gathering of their own?

I read a just released study this week that said 53% of those who aren't in church are willing to visit a church the Sunday before Christmas if someone will just invite them. 

We have a responsibility, as followers of Jesus, for the people God has put around us. I know that we can't force someone to follow Jesus. But we can do our part: Showing the love of Jesus, inviting them to follow Jesus, and inviting them to experience Jesus with your church family.

To not do this says something about our hearts. And what it says isn't good.

We all have excuses: My circle of friends is too small. I don't know people who don't know Jesus. I'm not sure what I'll say. 

Almost all of our excuses come from a place where we're trusting in our abilities. Don't trust in yourself. Trust in the One who can open doors and prepare hearts. Trust in the One who wants people to know Him.

So, are you in? Challenge issued. Let it start this week.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Some of you know that Levi played football for the first time this past Fall. He was QB for his team and he loved it. Rarely a day goes by without Levi asking me to throw the ball with him. 

He's come up with his own practice plan. Right now he's working on receiving.

Like most third graders, Levi drops a good number of passes. And like most people, he always has a good excuse for dropping the pass: "Dad, you threw it behind me... It was too high... I can't run that fast...." 

I have two mantras that I repeat whenever he throws an excuse my way: "No excuses", and "If you touch it you can catch it."

When we're practicing catching a football the most important thing is to catch the football (If you touch it you can catch it). Don't make excuses for not doing what's most important.

All of us are good at making excuses for not doing what's most important. And all of us need to stop.

Do the most important things, and don't make excuses why you can't.

What are the most important things? For me they are my relationship with God, my family, exercise, my mental health, and pastoring Hub City... in that order.

You need to figure out what's most important to you, and then do that, no excuses!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Some Parenting advice

My dad sent me a parenting tip. I think it's worth following.

Most people today think it improper to discipline children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have had one of 'those moments.'

Since I'm a pilot, one method that I have found very effective is for me to just take the child for a short flight during which I say nothing and give the child the opportunity to reflect on his or her behavior.

I don't know whether it's the steady vibration from the engines, or just the time away from any distractions such as TV, video games, computer, iPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our flight together.  I believe that eye to eye contact during these sessions is an important element in achieving the desired results.

I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.

Depression and exercise

I've been reading about depression lately. Yesterday I read something that I want to share because I think it can help a bunch of us. I know it has been helpful to me. 

We all know that exercise is important for our physical health. What we might not know is that exercise is of equal importance to our mental health.

A number of studies show that regular exercise can help us recover from depression. One such study showed that three session of aerobic activity a week worked as well as medication to reduce the symptoms of depression. Another study showed that moderate aerobic activity done three to five times a week can cut moderate depression symptoms nearly in half.

What that means for you and me is that we need to get off our butt and do something active. Take a job. Swim some laps. Go for a walk. 

In talking about this in his book, Leading on Empty, Wayne Cordeiro challenges us to start small but start now!

I agree. 

I know you're busy. I know it's cold. I know you might not feel like it. But do whatever it takes to add some physical activity to your life. It might just help lift you out of your depression. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

We don't need God anymore

I could be wrong. I've been wrong in the past, and will be wrong in the future. But I'm convinced that one of the biggest barriers to being disciples of Jesus in our American culture is that we don't really need God anymore.

We have everything we need. Most of us have way more than we need.

There are places around the world where people desperately need God for things we take for granted: Food, shelter, safety, water, health....

We have all of those in abundance. We don't really need God anymore.

But that's a lie. It's an illusion.

We need God just as much as others, but we've substituted so much for God (which is what the Bible calls idolatry) that it appears we're just fine without him.

But we're not fine without him.

In desperation we need to daily follow the instruction of 2 Chronicles 7:14 - 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Do what this verse says this week. Then God will hear, forgive and heal.