One Prayer

Yesterday, I suggested checking out Craig Groeschel's blog, and today's post is the reason why. In case you didn't scroll down past the video window, there's more information available at this site.

Bottom line, some of the greatest communicators and leaders in the Church today will each do a sermon called "One Prayer", the premise being this: If God would answer one prayer for the Church at large, what would you pray?

I believe that this move will make one of the biggest Kingdom impacts that our generation has ever seen. It's hard to believe that we get the privilege to be a part of this opportunity. Here are just some of the reasons that this will be great for Lake Hills Church:

1. It's a Kingdom thang. We'll get to participate and experience the joy of investing in something bigger than anything we could accomplish by ourselves.
2. The introduction of video teaching in our church--which we'll be using through our satellite campus(es)--using some of the greatest teachers and biblical communicators in the world.
3. Through a special offering, we'll be able to partner with hundreds of thousands of Christ-followers to make a significant difference in the world through missions.
4. Our church will be introduced to some incredible teachers who are also friends of mine that we couldn't possibly bring in all at once in person because of scheduling, expense, and logistics.

There's obviously more to come, but I wanted to let you know about it and be praying about it starting NOW.


Check Out

...these other blogs:

Ed Young -- this has absolutely no purpose other than a great laugh and an insight into a very unique mind. Part of what I love about Ed is his passion and sense of humor. This has ample amounts of both.

Swerve -- Swerve is the blog of Craig Groeschel and Bobby Gruenewald, Pastor & Exec. Pastor respectively of LifeChurch. Their mother ship campus is in Edmund, OK and they have multiple satellite locations across the nation. Check this one out on Monday for a unique, God-honoring ministry initiative that is going to blanket the nation this coming summer.


ANTI-Septic (or "Not Coming Up Roses")

For those of you who think that life's always coming up roses for Christians, check this out...

We are putting in some new grass, and yesterday we found a little puddle in our backyard (you can see where the dirt goes from dry to wet in the picture). No big deal...except that our back yard is where our septic field is located and the puddle is apparently a septic field issue. Good times...good times.

What an opportunity for perspective. I'm not excited about a septic field problem, but in a grand-scheme-of-things, big-picture perspective, this is one of those things that everyone gets to deal with from time to time.

PS I think I have my opening illustration for a sermon series called "Overflow" that we're kicking off this weekend! See how good God is! ...although, I'm not sure that this is exactly what Jesus had in mind when he talked about giving us "LIFE to the full".






What an amazing celebration of Easter this past weekend! I was blown away by the
overwhelming number of ways God showed up so huge:

1. THANK YOU to every single one of you who invited someone to come and experience Easter. There's nothing deeper spiritually than pointing someone toward the fullness of the empty tomb.

2. THANK YOU GRANDE to everyone who selflessly attended services on Good Friday and early Easter morning. You are glad you did because you got to sit down for church! That, and the fact that you knew you had created a seat for a guest to encounter Christ.

3. What an amazing job everyone on our staff and volunteers did to communicate the essence and power of Easter. Big props to Vic Dominey for the "I Believe" scrolling text piece (we're going to post it in case you missed it).

4. Huge thanks to Jon Branch for finding and LEARNING (!?) the hammer dulcimer in a week and a half. And to all the band and worship team for taking us to the throne!

5. To all of you who gave up comfortable seats for our guests to sit down instead of standing on stairs, in the lobby and even out on the sidewalk at the last service: YOU ARE LAKE HILLS CHURCH!

Kindof funny that after overflow crowds this weekend, I'm starting a series of messages called Overflow this coming Sun. Mar. 30th. That's how Jesus describes the kind of life he died and rose again to make available to us. I hope you'll make it a priority to be there this weekend--back on our regular schedule: Sunday, 9, 10:15, and 11:45 a.m. And, hey, go ahead and bring a friend with you this weekend, too.



A good friend of mine--who's not a member of LHC--emailed me Tuesday and said that he is coming to our Easter celebration this weekend because he's invited a friend who doesn't know Christ.

A couple of things in that email struck me:

1. What a compliment that he's bringing his friend to LHC.
2. What a selfless act that he's putting his friend's spiritual need in front of his own desire to attend his church on Easter.

Forget attending the service he wants to attend--he's going to a different church altogether so that he can help point his friend to the love of Christ.

That might be the "deepest", most spiritually mature thing I've seen in a long time.

Easter Preview (2 of 3)

Tomorrow, we'll kick off our church's celebration of Easter~the lynch pin of the Christian faith. Musically, it will be one of the most amazing experiences we've ever had as a church.

Mark Groutas and his team have put together such an incredible, worship-full, and engaging course for us to run together. Be praying throughout this weekend that God will prepare you for what He has already prepared for you in corporate worship this weekend. Remember that worship isn't just about singing with a group of people; it's something that we do every day in everything we say, do, think, and want.

And, the day-in/day-out worship of our lives feeds corporate worship when we come together just as that corporate expression of love to God feeds us throughout the week. Especially this week.


Easter Preview (1 of 3)

As I'm preparing the message for our Easter celebration, I find myself getting distracted by a few of the other elements that we're going to have in the services this weekend.

One of the things that I cannot wait to see is a unique video piece that is so incredibly moving and provoking. It's remarkably simple, but it's that simplicity that cuts through so much of the clutter. It's video, but it reminds me a little of the old-school responsive readings that we had in our church growing up.

For those of you who didn't get that experience, let me describe it: The pastor or the minister of music would open the hymnal to the back pages where there were readings that he would prompt and then the congregation would read aloud the text written in bold type.

While we won't be doing a responsive reading, I promise you it will engage your mind and stir you and the people you're inviting to share the Reason for the hope of the world: Jesus' resurrection.



Hard to believe that Easter is this weekend! Spring Break, SXSW, daylight savings time, and all of that happening just last week makes it seem like Easter oughtta be 3-4 weeks out.

But, it's here and it's going to be off the chain! LHC is going to blow the lid off the celebration of Christ's resurrection this weekend, and I want to invite, challenge, encourage, cajole, persuade, coax, and convince you to do 3 things this week:

1. Attend one of our 5 identical services: Good Friday at 5 or 7 p.m. and Easter Sunday at 7, 9, or 11 a.m. And, then...
2. Click on this "E"-mail link to invite anyone you know to one of those services and experience the love of God and the truth of Easter with us this weekend. In this case, the "E" in email stands for Easter. The greatest gift you could ever give someone is an introduction to Christ and the depth of his extravagant love for them.
3. Pray. Pray with thanks for Easter and Christ's sacrifice for us. Pray for everyone who is working to lead volunteers, organize food and preparations, or to prepare music or a sermon for worship. And pray for God to reveal himself in fresh, powerful, and undeniable ways to everyone who comes through our door this weekend.

It's going to be a great weekend. Thank you in advance for always being the kind of church that looks to share the love and truth of God in fresh ways.


Clean Up That Mess

I just read a phenomenal post at Common Grounds, a blog created and maintained by a good friend of mine Glenn Lucke. Glenn actually wrote this post, and it really struck me just how good God is and how powerful he is: Not only is he good/faithful to clean up the mess that I can make, but he is powerful/faithful to redeem it for his purposes and good in other people's lives.

Amazing grace.



When Spring Break broke this week, I really wasn't expecting to explain to my son what prostitution is. But, the news of NY Gov. Elliott Spitzer's sex scandal gave me that opportunity.

As I watched the story unfold, his wife stand with him at two press conferences she probably never could have imagined, and 24-7 news coverage ad nauseum, a few things struck me:

No one is immune. No one can honestly or wisely say "That'll never be me."
That kind of choice doesn't get made overnight. There are always little corners cut along the way that lead to the "big" scandal.
Are there any areas in my life that need more truth and less grace. I'm not talking about real, God-given grace. I'm talking about the little self-talk lies that I can tell myself as I rationalize or explain away something that is just flat wrong.

Amongst all the hand-wringing, finger-pointing, high-fiving, and everything else, I thought Jim Cramer's response on the Today Show was maybe the most appropriate...

How do we respond personally when we see a public moral failing like this? What's the appropriate response? Should we talk about it? With whom?


Spur Leadership in the Trenches

Just talked to a close friend of mine--we'll call him Fred--who shared the following story with me:

A few months ago, the startup company he works for got a much-needed traunch of investment capital. As he looked around the office (<15 people), he realized that all the C-level managers (CEO, COO, etc.) had been entrepreneurs/salespeople but had never managed a company. So, he initiated a conversation with the CEO and pointed out--tactfully--that they had a lot of activity/projects in the works but very little follow-up or progress reporting. Bottom line: No accountability. The CEO convened a staff meeting and asked everyone what they were working on and what the status was. Meeting adjourned.

But, here's where Fred took accountability to the next level: he took notes at that meeting and then the following month Fred sent out a company-wide email calling for status reports on the activity/projects, congratulating those who were doing what they had said they would do and offering to help those who weren't. Now, in that office, people know that their progress is going to be measured. Someone's paying attention and checking up on things and offering to help where circumstances or performance issues threaten to throttle the company's growth.

The leader who neglects accountability because she wants everyone to like her will end up with no one liking her, because they'll be frustrated by inactivity/ineffectiveness of the group/church/team/business. The leader who wants everyone to produce but doesn't engage them relationally will end up with no one who produces long-term because he hasn't invested in people on a personal level.

The balance (tension?) of leadership is struck in community AND accountability. There is no community without accountability and no accountability without community.

What examples do you have of people in your life who've led you with this balance?


The Last Lion

FINALLY! This afternoon I finished the 883-page biography of Winston Churchill The Last Lion (this was actually just Vol. 1--I'm going to need some time before launching into Vol. 2). Churchill was a complex, conflicted, brilliant, flawed child of privilege who overcame extreme parental neglect and mined his prodigious gifts deeply.

Churchill's greatest gift was his incredibly nimble mind. But, a close second was his unequaled skill as a communicator. Whenever he addressed Parliament, the cloak and smoking rooms were emptied as Members would not miss his presentations.

His career was marked by a unique combination of conservative and liberal ideas and proposals. He wasn't immune or dull politically; Churchill was incredibly astute politically and not above taking calculated positions for his own political advantage. But, he had a remarkable aptitude for discerning the flow of history and the appropriate response or approach to national and international events. It was almost like, more often than not, he chose a course of action that he felt was right rather than what was politically expedient or the party line.

What a concept.


My Favorite Sunday

After 10+ years of LHC, it's tough to pick the best service, but yesterday's would have to be top-3 of all time.

First, the worship team was over-the-top incredible! Our amazing regular team was augmented by fiddle, banjo, and guitar players who were unbelievable. Well done, Mark G. and team. Thank you!

Second, we announced the launch of our first satellite location, Lake Hills Church Downtown. Services will kick off in September, but Life Groups are forming NOW. Stay tuned here and the LHC website to know what's going on and how to connect if that location is closer to where you are or if you know people who are in that area.

Also, we're launching a new ministry for leaders--in the marketplace and in the church--called Spur Leadership. The first Spur Leadership Conference will be this fall on Thursday, Oct. 2. The speakers lineup is already stout and there are a couple of others we're in the process of confirming before we begin promotions.

God's been so good and has got so much for us to do with what He's done so far. I probably shouldn't be surprised, but it is overwhelming to realize that the best really is yet to come.