Ed Stetzer speaking at CIL in August

I am very excited to announce that Ed Stetzer will be speaking at CIL on August 22.   Ed is in high demand as a national speaker, as  this year alone he has already spoken at Saddleback Church (Rick Warren), Mars Hill (Mark Driscoll) and at just about every major denominational national meeting.   Ed is the president of Lifeway Research, and a resident of Hendersonville.

You can see Ed’s summer speaking schedule on his blog by clicking here.  Also, if you are on Twitter, Ed will become one of your favorite people to follow.

Veteran’s Lunch This Sunday

Our Compassion Ministry will be serving its monthly meal to veterans at the Sumner County Veterans home this Sunday, June 27th at 1:00 p.m.   For the last few months, the team has been building relationships with these men, as the church attempts to be a consistent presence for these often forgotten heros.   I am grateful for the leadership of Hollie Robinson and Ellen Spaulding in preparing this meal.  If you want to get involved, let me know and I will get you in contact with these ladies.

Can Good Come From Gulf Crisis?

Can God make something good come out of this gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico?  For those directly affected by this environmental catastrophe, I can understand their doubt (I’m not talking about the vacationers . . . I’m referring to the property owners, hotel and restaurant employees, fisherman and others whose lives intertwine with the Gulf).

This tragedy can’t be blamed on God.  Our complex world led to the unnatural task of  drilling thousands of feet underwater to help satisfy our thirst for oil.   How can God work through this self-inflicted wound?

I am praying for humility.  I pray that the engineers and officials at BP won’t rely on their own wisdom and training, but will be humble enough to turn to God for wisdom from above.  I am praying that our government leaders will humble themselves to seek God for the welfare of the citizens, the Gulf Coast economy, the shoreline and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  I am praying that we will solve the problem first, instead of wasting energy on hearings and inquiries before the pipe stop gushing.

I pray the church will rise to the occasion in that region.  I pray that salvation will come to people through an awful experience.   May we all be humbled and learn that we need God.

Teenagers home safe with new passion

Our teenagers returned home Monday night from their summer camp, called “The Getaway” in Panama City, Florida.   All came back healthy, with new spiritual vigor.  I am very excited about how God can use this camp experience to add spiritual passion in our church.  I am so proud of the leadership of David and Margie Huff.  Here is part of a report from Margie:

It was raining. The students were waiting outside the door under a pavilion watching the rain come down. They sang and cheered. They were pumped and ready for God to move. We opened the doors and they ran in the rain into the building. Worship had already began. They filled the room with adoration and love towards Jesus. And Jesus filled the room with His Spirit . . . Our students literally filled the entire room with dancing and worship towards Him. I have never in my life seen anything like it. The presence of God was so sweet. No one taught them what to do. No one showed the students how God’s presence was suppose to make them feel and act. Some had never even seen God move in this manner. It was organic and genuine. I am honored to be a part of this. – Margie Huff

What Makes or Breaks a Leader? Trust.

I just read the book Trust by Les Csorba, and it was like a refreshing drink of leadership water.  Csorba is a leading corporate recruiter who has served in both Bush administrations.   It also is clear from the beginning of the book that Csorba is a Christian, as he references truths from the Bible with great ease and confidence.

This book came out in 2004, so I’m a little bit behind in reading it.  At times you are reminded that this book was written before Hurricane Katrina, the Obama administration and the near collapse of the US economy in 2008.   However, the leadership truths are timeless, and Csorba describes them with brilliance.

I heard Csorba speak at Spur Leadership last year in Austin, and his book has been on my shelf for some time.   I felt Holy Spirit leading me to the book, and it became apparent in the introduction that the writing was exactly what I needed in my personal life.   If every leader lived out the premise of this book, our nation would be much stronger.

Happenings The Last Few Days

Scott and Penny Simm’s Wedding

I had the privilege of officiating a family wedding for my dear friend and co-worker Penny.  She married an amazing guy in Scott Simms.   Penny has been such a great friend to me and Beth, so I couldn’t be happier for her.   The wedding was a small family affair on Old Hickory Lake, but the ceremony was full of joy and was Christ-centered.

–  Abbey gone for the week
After the wedding, we met Beth’s mom half-way so ten year old Abbey could spend the week with her in Kentucky.   If you see me a little sad this week, I’m probably missing my Abbey-girl.   Still, I’m excited she is taking a step into adolescence – a week without Mom and Dad.

– Sunday’s Service was Powerful
We had a powerful move of God in Sunday’s service.  Jonathan Lee was in town after doing ministry in other places, and he brought a fresh anointing in worship.  I am so glad that all of our worship leaders are used by God in such a powerful way.  As we started the series Man Hunt, I prayed for a lot of men personally – asking the Father to make them “fight” for what He has called them to.

– 242 Newcomers a Success
We started a new concept this summer in the 242 Newcomers Group.  I have been pleased with the participation, and I am excited about the new people God is bringing to our church body.

Randall Goodgame’s Visit To CIL

Last Sunday, we enjoyed a great concert from Randall Goodgame during our Sunday services at CIL.

Randall is one of my favorite artists to hear live, as he tells great stories through song.   The thing I appreciate the most about him is his humility.   He loves the local church, good music and is passionate about the new direction his ministry is going.

Randall is focusing on a cool project for children and their parents called “Slugs & Bugs.”   Keep on the lookout for this – it’s going to be great for families.

If your not familiar with Randall, check him out at www.randallgoodgame.com

This Sunday, I start a new series called Man Hunt.  I’ll be speaking on “Fighting Man.”    I hope to see you at either 9:30 0r 11:15.

Tithing – Gross or Net?

I responded to an e-mail earlier today that asked me if we should tithe on the “gross” or “net” of our salary.  After I responded, I decided it would be beneficial for us all ponder this subject.  Read below, and let me know your thoughts.  And prepare for a dissertation from all our anti-tithing friends in cyberspace – 🙂


I thank God for the opportunity to tithe, as it has been a blessing in my life.  God has attached his blessing to the tithe, but as New Testament Christians we should strive to exceed that.   It’s a matter of our heart.  When we give our tithe and beyond, it connects are heart to God.

I personally believe I should tithe on my gross salary.    However, there isn’t necessarily a “law” that requires us to tithe on the gross.   We are not under the law, so if a person that starts out tithing only on the net is still doing a good thing that God will honor.  The heart of the matter is not “getting by” with giving the least we “have to”, but to have a lifestyle that continues to give us much as we can.

Are You A Guerrilla Lover?

One of the best Christian books I have read in a long time is Guerrilla Lovers by Vince Antonucci, church planter on the strip of Las Vegas.   Vince accomplished what few people ever do – he made me laugh out loud.   This writing challenges our old way of evangelism though the “shock and awe method.”  Instead, Antonucci challenges us to use “guerrilla tactics” that are covert and strategic to surprise those who are normally turned off to Christianity.  With hilarious stories and cultural references, this book was a delight, especially if you are a GenXer like me.   Some times this book could be accused of being irreverent, but is always challenging.   For you who preach, there are some great sermon illustrations here.   Thanks Vince Antonucci for a refreshing and different look at Christian writing.

The Ultimate Report Card

This is our final day of The Next Level.  This last chapter on “The Ultimate Report Card:  The Judgment Seat of Christ” is very meaningful to me.   I have been listening to Scott Wilson preach for over 20 years, and his ministry has had a huge impact on me.  Scott has also been an encouragement to me on a personal level.

Of the many sermons I have heard Scott preach, his teaching on “the Judgment Seat of Christ” had a profound impact on me.   I hope you take time to read the last chapter, and learn about the two separate judgments we will face as Christians.  I thank Jesus Christ that his death and resurrection has given me the right to heaven in the Great White Throne Judgment.   In addition to this, we who are Christians will be judged at “The Judgment Seat of Christ” for the quality of our lives (this isn’t about salvation) (see I Corinthians 3:12-15).

Our aspiration to go to the next level is so that we can present good thing to Christ when He judges our conduct.  Let’s go to The NEXT LEVEL for HIM!