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So far has created 31 blog entries.

I got to find something for our small group now!

I love to play basketball. The nice thing about being in your 40’s, I am currently 43, is that I am finally getting over the fact that I am a mediocre bball player and have given up the dream that I am actually better than I am. You could say it has taken me a bit too long, but finally, expectations have met reality.

Anyone else out there relate? If not, then you either played at a D-1 college, that means big and good school, or maybe one of you actually played on TV.

Well after playing in what we call our ASL, that stands for All Suck League, (I hope that does not offend anyone, but it’s the best description for our level of play) last night, we had an awesome discussion about church, Bible preaching, small groups, music and worship trends. It was a lively, inspiring and encouraging conversation.

Two of the guys began asking me more about The Hub and who is our market and what do we do. As I shared with them that our passion is to walk closely through the Bible and to share tools that have a long shelf life becuase they focus on the meat and potatoes of the 66 books of scripture, one of the guys said, “have you ever heard of J. Vernon Mgee?”(http://www.thruthebible.org/site/c.irLMKXPGLsF/b.4104125/k.B262/Dr_J_Vernon_McGee.htm) I said, you do know that he died more than 20 years ago, right?  God is using J. Vernon perhaps more today than when he was alive.  Why? Why do you think?

My opinion is that his teaching was ‘through the Bible’ and at the end of the day, if you want to know God and His love and will for your life, you must and will end up in His Word, the Bible.

These two young guys said, “Hey, this stuff would be perfect for our guys group.  So often we never know what to study or what to go through for our time together.  This way, we can have sweet Bible teaching from an amazing communicator, we will know that it is accurate, inspiring and challenging and we can still have our sweet discussion time with the questions from the guide.”

Exactly!  The Hub exists for church and parachurch leaders, home groups and anyone who wants to engage in spiritual growing through the Bible whether in a group, or at home, in your own personal study.

And, with the digtial downloads and the ability to rent many of our resources  http://www.gotothehub.com/digital-downloads/ now you and your group can access these resources for about $4 or $5 per session.

So, get your fellers together and have a Hoops & Bible night.  Now that’s getting it done!


By |January 5th, 2010|Hub Thots, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Tommy Nelson|0 Comments

Romance, Relationships & Religion

Guess what? These 3 words are in the top 50 of all internet topics being blogged about, searched for on Google, Youtube, podcast, and any other traditional or new communication method.

My question for you is simple. Why? Why do we have more access to information than we have ever had before and yet the core issues, Romance and Relationships, Religion, Politics and Money?

Are you content with how much money you have/make?  Was your childhood with religion a positive or negative thing?  Did you judge others in your home or did you feel judged?  Was your home a happy place with a mom and dad who had a good, healthy, kind relationship and therefore home?  Or was your home icey cold, volatile hot, or just empty?

Ever wondered why these issues get our blood boiling and minds moving?  It’s quite simple.  God!

He created us with the desire and capacity to share, experience and enjoy romantic relationships.  He created the desire within man/woman to create, work, design, build, grow and therefore earn a way to provide for ourselves and family units.  He created us in His Image and therefore to have freedom, responsibility, community, and safety.

So, it is God who has created and given us the desire and need for Romance, Relationships and Religion (I will define this as the need for a personal relationship with God, everyone’s Creator).

Am I saying it is as simple as belief in God will solve all Romance, Relationship and Religious issues?  No.  I am saying that trust and belief in The One who made us is the source to find fulfillment in all these areas and the source of strength and courage to work through our differences.

These issues will always been in the TOP 10 of internet, magazine, newspaper, blogs, or whatever form of communication our God given minds will create.  Because, until we stop searching the internet, magazines, newspapers, blogs, or whatever form of information our God given minds develop and start searching His Written Word, The Bible and pray for His best in the areas of Romance, Relationships and Religion, there will always be turmoil in our lives and therefore our world.

God is with us – thank goodness.  Happy New Year from The Hub.

By |December 30th, 2009|Hub Thots, Tuesday's with Doug|0 Comments

8 Ways to Thrive (not die) with Family

As we continue our series on conflict, what an opportunity many of us will have this Christmas. 🙂 Yes, we all know family is a blessing and wonderful, but quite honestly, most of us know it can be very stressful as well.

Here are a couple of reminders as we enter what should be restful, sweet, good, memory making times.

1. Take a deep breath – Is what your mother, brother, or sister-n-law said, or going to say really worth ruining the sweet time you have? I know that words are extremely powerful, but for many of us, we need to learn how to ‘give them less power.’

2. Watch your tongue – As you have heard and will hear many times, An OUNCE of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If most of us would just take a deep breath, relaxe ONE moment before we speak, we would either say less damaging things or when someone says something Potentially damaging to us, we choose not to react.

3. Stop thinking of the past all the time. This is huge in family. Whenever someone in our family makes a comment to us, we see it in light of the previous 20, 35, or 50 years. It’s time to forget some of that (I know it’s hard, but it’s necessary). A short memory can be quite helpful in these situations.

4. If your comment does not build someone up, then keep it to yourself. Many times in family, we think it is our job to ‘share all the difficult stuff.’ You know what, unless you have an active, ongoing, close relationship with a family member, chances are ‘more critique’, or ‘less positive’ opinions should be shared by a person’s friend, not a family member.

5. Unsolicited advise is almost always received as criticism, not help.

6. We only have a few days together. Let’s be friends:) Friendships are positive. Let’s let our family times be positive.

7. Christmas is about Christ’s generosity of Spirit, not a spirit of negative, stress, hurt, history. If we will slow down enough to get the right perspective on our eyeballs, then He will gives us what we need to make it much more enjoyable.

8. Don’t stay too long!  Proverbs says,’Don’t stay too long in your brother’s house.’  That’s from the wisest man who ever lived.  Amen.

Remember this week, God is with you.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at The Hub!

By |December 22nd, 2009|Conflict, Hub Thots|2 Comments

God is with Matt Chandler

Friends, we have been praying for Matt Chandler, friend of The Hub and Pastor of The Village Church in Dallas, TX. The pathology report is back and the tumor was malignant and they were not able to remove it all. For a full report from The Village, go here.

This is very difficult. For Matt, Lauren, their kids, family and for The Village. Not in my life have I seen God raise up so much love for a preacher in such a short time than I have with Matt.

It is a must that we bend our knees, hearts and minds and look only at Jesus. This does not and will not make sense to our human mind. We are not able to comprehend this kind of pain and suffering.

Do we bend our knees, hearts and mind with hope? Absolutely! As Paul says in Romans, we do not grieve as those without hope.

Matt, family, and The Village, those of us who have been blessed by God using you and His gifts He gave you to teach, we commit to pray for you all.

We will pray for physical healing. We will pray for Christ to be made known around the world so that many others will experience spiritual and eternal healing through this struggle.

It is not our way, but God’s ways are trustworthy, for He is the only true Trustworthy one.

God is with you, and us.

By |December 16th, 2009|Hub Thots, Matt Chandler, Tuesday's with Doug|2 Comments

Who's on First?

In response to Caryn’s question: Caryn and her husband just had their first child and are now struggling with connecting physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her final comment/question is: Is it possible to still be madly in love with your spouse and enjoy being parents?

Caryn, YES! Guess what’s next…WORK.

First things first. I think you need to slow down a bit, step back and let some things simmer down. I have not given birth (surprise) but my wife Carrie has three times. It is wonderful and can be very stressful. Hormones, no sleep, new things, things you don’t know how to work, no sleep, new financial opportunities:), who is going to wake up at 2:45 a.m., no sleep, hormones. A lot of Change!

There is also a ton of sweet sounds, holding a baby on your chest and taking a nap, watching them sleep, letting their little finger wrap around yours, watching their eyes open, emotionally and spiritually connecting with them, taking a nap with your baby on your chest (I know I already said that, but since I said no sleep a lot in the other paragraph, need to say how sweet those naps are).  A lot of Goodness.

Caryn, and others, during this time of wonderful, but massive change, we need not to become anxious, paranoid, or rush to judgments about one another. Certainly you and your husband are realizing that if you thought marriage took sacrifice, having a baby is like the ultimate mirror to reflect our selfishness.

“I am tired and I have to get sleep or I can’t do my job at work well.” “Well, I just gave birth to your son (daughter) and I have not slept for days and have this precious little one on my side 24/7 and I need help.”  Was it Mark Twain (not sure) that said, ‘this is why God gives children to the young.'”

I would suggest you and your husband find a few quiet minutes and share your honest, heartfelt feelings. Share with him your concern over your body and its changes. Share with him your sense of missing him, your tiredness and energy.  Share with him the sense of loss of losing your best friend and the separation you are feeling.  Share with him your desire for him and to not lose that intimacy and your willingness to fight for him.

For the husbands out there, intimacy will return. But, this is why it is called intimacy in marriage and not sex, because it requires courage, honesty, sacrifice, commitment. Then, when you each get a bit of rest, you have unselfishly helped each with the responsibilities in the home, and then you come together in intimacy, now you have something worth fighting for! Now that is two souls coming together, and not two bodies.

Caryn, pray for the conversation, offer the results to God (your husband may not respond perfectly to the first conversation) but be kind and wise about your timing, but be direct and courageous.

This is one of the forks in the road where as things get more complicated in marriage, we must fight diligently to “keep falling in love” with the best friend that we chose and God lead us to.

God is with you, be strong!

By |December 15th, 2009|Hub Thots, Tuesday's with Doug|0 Comments

I am weak. He is strong.


Our dear friend Matt Chandler is in a fight. For those of you who don’t know, here is the link to The Village Church website to get the latest updates.

Matt is a friend and the teacher of our brand new series on Philippians. The title of his series is the epic verse in Philippians, To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain.  Clearly a description for the journey Matt is on right now and of course it is the description for everyone of our lives.  The one major difference for Matt at this time in his life, is that he is clearly aware of his mortality and as he has said in his own words, “God is sovereign.”   For many of us…we still live in the land of ‘life is pretty good and may last forever.’

This is one of the most amazing journey’s I can only imagine and it is evident that God’s truth, love and grace are absolutely sustaining Matt and his family. When you watch this video of him just a day or so before brain surgery and you read his blog post, it is clear that as Matt’s body is weak, Christ is (of course) being made so real and strong.  God is giving Matt tremendous courage and He is being made STRONG in Matt.

I am grateful that in Matt’s blog and video there is clear evidence of real/honest/true emotions: tears, fear, questions – but  it is even more obvious the trust, belief, hope, confidence in Things Not Seen – but Things That Are Certain.

God, we wish it was not this way, that pain, awful struggle like Matt and his family are experiencing, are ways that we see your overwhelming love, power and peace, but it is clearly evident in Matt’s countenance and words.

God, we join with millions to pray. Please heal Matt. But we agree with Matt that your will be done and that through whatever struggle someone reading this might have, how great or how small, as we are found weak, we will trust you more because in those moments you are made strong.

Matt and Lauren, God is with you.

By |December 8th, 2009|Hub Thots, Matt Chandler|1 Comment

The Kids & Re-Marriage

For a first week of questions you guys really did not waste any time. Of course, when we are experiencing pain, time is of the essence, right!

In thinking about which direction to go in my response, I tried to think about one of the issues brought up that may affect the most people. I just spent some time with family over the Thanksgiving holiday, as I am sure many of you did, which of course is a whole other topic, right? So who is going to give me counsel on that one?

But, here is a point that I know so many people deal with. I am not going to focus on the biblical/theological issues dealing with re-marriage. That is a very lengthy conversation and one that has much disagreement within the Christian church. In fact, if you ask most pastors, they will be hard pressed to put their true beliefs on paper, and many of them will tell you it is not the issue of divorce that is difficult, it is the issue of re-marriage.

But I digress. 🙂 The issue for this response is dealing with the kids from previous marriages. This is extremely difficult whether the kids are young, or if the kids are grown.

I think my primary principle is two-fold. When you choose to re-marry, you have a new husband/wife. The principle in Genesis is that a man should leave his mother and father and the two shall become one flesh. Marriage is a new union of two becoming one. This is why the issue of re-marriage is so difficult, and in my belief another in a very long line of reasons why God intended and designed for one marriage, one husband and one wife. However, even in the issue of the death of a spouse where there is no theological problem related to ‘is it okay to remarry’, the issue of the kids is still very much an issue.

First principle: If God called you into a marriage, then you need to be committed to God first, then to your spouse, then to your family. Now, I know this is very difficult. But, each person did decide to get married, and with that comes ‘opportunities’ to be faithful to God and our commitment. The real issue in many folks situation is that the person we choose to re marry is not submitting themselves to God and therefore they can cause more problems than they should. These are signs that we should look for diligently prior to getting married or re-married.

You will continue to hear me say over and over again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  But, of course God’s forgiveness is for all of us because we all need the greatest ‘Cure’ of all time, Him.  So, any husband or wife dealing with a difficult spouse on any issue, pray diligently for them.

In another blog we posted, Mark Driscoll makes the statement to ‘invite’ your spouse, don’t nag your spouse.  I suggest mustering the most patient, kind and courageous attitude, after much prayer, and trying to get an honest dialogue going with your spouse about how you really feel.  Not emotional, no ‘angry words’ or ‘tones’, but an honest, calm discussion.  No ultimatums, no expectations of immediate relief or change, but an honest dialogue that allows room for God to change both you and your spouse’s heart.

Much of the angst that fills our heart and mind on these issues is that “I just wish I could fix it right away,” it is the sense of being out of control.  Well, guess what, we are not in control of anyone, other than ourselves, and the only control we have is to submit to God and live one day at a time.

My second principle is your kids are your kids.  It is always a delicate balance and one that takes much time, self-control, brave communication and trust to guide us through this journey.  Again, the issues of dealing with the kids in any situation, re-marriage, grandkids, are very present and real.

The balance from kids becoming their own families and the right level of involvement are things that must be worked out together and over time, and they will change over time.  Of course in all of our families, we all have dysfunction.  Humans are dysfunctional.  Our goal should be each day by God’s grace and power, to be brave and continue our own personal growth and asking the Lord to lead us to make better decisions and leave the results to Him.

So, for all of us and our families, let’s make a start today to: Get quiet and Pray, be brave and to have calm and honest discussions, and leave results to God.  Some of you have tried this, others have not, but again, we all have to live with decisions we have made and trust an all loving and powerful God to work first in our lives, and then in our spouse or kids or grandkids.

Most importantly, God is with you.

To view all of the posts on the Conflict Series, click here.

Not Right Now

The Austin Worth The Wait was an amazing success thanks to God and His Best for love, dating and sex.

With leadership from Jon Moton, Lara Baliff, speakers, Goodie Goodloe and John Wills, this most amazing love story of how a man and woman should meet, date and when and how to enjoy intimacy was told.

There were over 800 students and 400 parents. That’s what I would call a room full of lives that now have heard the truth straight from God’s heart on these issues.

One of the strongest concepts that stems from Song of Solomon and that Goodie talked about is this: Sex is good, it is Godly, it is right, but it is “Not Now” or “Not Yet” for those who are not married. God is For Sex, He is for Sex between a husband and a wife.

Here is what one person said about the teaching: “”Not right now, but maybe”. You helped me
make my decision last night that I will be waiting until marriage for sex. I want it to be something special. I am so glad that I
attended the conference..”

So, thanks to Hill Country Bible and all the volunteers for your amazing support of God’s Word and Worth The Wait.

By |November 18th, 2009|Hub Thots|1 Comment

Austin is a Hit

This Sunday night in Austin there will be a 1000 students and parents learning God’s design and plan for love, dating, marriage and sex. That is fantastic.

We have talked to so many parents on the phone these past couple of weeks who have signed up themselves and their teenage kids and most have a similar theme, “I don’t want my kids to have to go through what I have gone through in this area.”

We are so thrilled for the opportunity to begin to shape young minds and to teach young men and women from the beginning of their ‘romantic life’ that this area is God’s – not the worlds!

Most teenagers grow up thinking sex is dirty and maybe fun, that it is free to do with anyone at anytime, and then as they would experiment they begin to feel the pain and scar tissue from this lack of truth.

If you live in the Austin region, don’t miss out. We still have room for you and your students.

Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the event begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m.

Let Worth the Wait in Austin get the conversation started with you and your kids.

By |November 14th, 2009|Hub Thots, It's Worth the Wait|0 Comments

Talking to Our Kids About Sex

Worth The Wait in Tennessee

As a Student Pastor I spent the first ten years giving students the best advice I knew when it came to dating. “The Bible says don’t have sex, so don’t! It mentions fleeing from sexual immorality so I guess that means don’t touch the parts of another’s body that are covered with clothes. Other than that date, kiss and enjoy those great years of junior and senior high relationships!”

Then I eventually saw and had to counsel many of those same students who ended up going too far physically, suffered through broken hearts or lost their own spiritual passion while pursuing their personal romance. Then I discovered the timeless wisdom from the Song of Solomon. It changed my ministry. It changed my parenting. It changed my life!  Who would have ever thought that something written over two thousand years ago could be so relevant for students today?

I love watching the raw scriptures in Song of Solomon challenge students’ thinking and rearrange their perspective when it comes to healthy relationships with the opposite sex. I have used these biblical principles with my own teenage kids.  Although they resisted the ideas at first (my daughter once told her older brother that dad was “trying to brainwash her with that Solomon stuff”), they are realizing God may have a better idea when it comes to dating than their peers do.  Imagine that. 🙂

I can’t wait to see you in Tennessee!

Keith Smith
Worth the Wait

By |October 29th, 2009|Hub Thots, Live Events|0 Comments