Lawn Day at the Hill House!

30 05 2009
Downtown Greenville, SC (Falls Park)

Downtown Greenville, SC (Falls Park)

Is it just me, or does anyone¬†else like to get out the house on the weekends and work in their yard? There is just something so rewarding about transforming an overgrown yard into a work of art! I absolutely love it. The time alone, listening to the hum of the mower, the sun on your back, the sweat in your eyes (okay – I could do without the sweat)…but don’t all of those things just make the experience very rewarding. And, after a long week in the office or on the computer – I am grateful for the opportunity to do something physically challenging that doesn’t take a lot of thinking! Where I live (in the upstate of South Carolina), it has rained nearly everyday for the last 2 weeks…so the yard was huge, the humidity was sky-rocketing and the experience was very fulfilling! If you hate yard word and detest the outdoors…well, I am sorry. I still love it! I guess I should be grateful to my mother who always had me pull weeds and my dad who always had me cut the grass as a kid. It’s a little strange to be looking back and having warm memories for the chores I used to dread. Funny how time and place can change your view of things!

Here’s to the weekends and a lush green yard to mow!

Later.

PS – by the way, I found the picture above from a blog about real estate, and it noted that Greenville, SC was recently ranked the 4th best place to live in the America (out of the Top 100 places). Go figure…I can’t believe it was ranked so low. It is #1 in my book! ūüôā Check it out at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/514320/greenville-sc-ranked-4th-best-place-to-live

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Star Trek & Experiencing the Rescue!

26 05 2009
"To boldly go where no man has gone before!"

"To boldly go where no man has gone before!"

This morning I spent some time reading from the New Testament book – Galatians. Today I choose to read it from the popular modern day interpretation by Eugene Peterson. His version of the bible is called – The Message. If you don’t have a copy of this version of the bible, well…you should! It is as plain and real to live (relevant) as you could ever hope for God’s Word to be.

Well, my reading this morning came from chapter 1. And here’s what I discoverd in verses 3 & 4. The apostle Paul wrote,

“So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue.”

I love the word picture Paul creates here.¬† He describes God’s purpose or plan to bring salvation to all mankind – but he does so by speaking in terms of a rescue. Now, I don’t know if you have had the opportunity to see the new Box-office smash hit – STAR TREK or not, but it is a great movie. And the story within the story is all about a rescue. It’s about the young captain Kirk and his newly formed crew bringing hope to humanity by rescuing the people of earth from a tyrant of sorts. And if you are anything like me…then the story of a rescue is so intriguing. The idea of someone going to whatever length necessary to provide for your greatest need – your care, your salvation…that very thought touches the deepest part of me.¬† And it is that very idea that Paul is getting at when he begins this letter to the Christ followers in Galatia. Again I remind you, He wrote,

“Jesus Christ rescued us from this world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue.”

God’s plan is for you and me and everyone we know to experience that rescue! What do you think about that? Does it bring any questions to your mind? I would love to dialog with you about them. Feel free to respond if you’d like!

Oh yeah…one more thing: LIVE LONG & PROSPER! ūüôā





What I’m Reading!

19 05 2009

10 stupid thingsLast week I took the family to Barnes & Noble…one of our favorite places to go. My daughter picked up the book The Secret Garden, Preston got a Transformer book, Carson got a Thomas the train engine book and Jonathan picked up Swiss Family Robinson. We all love to read! I picked up a new book on church growth…I know, it sounds boring already, huh? Well, surprisingly enough, this is a pretty good read. It has a fair amount of humor (sarcasm to be more exact) but some really good stories of failure and success. It was recently released by author Geoff Surratt and is entitled, TEN STUPID THINGS THAT KEEP CHURCHES FROM GROWING! And let me just say, it’s nice to discover that I am not the only one who has done some stupid things in the name of ministry! If you are at all interested in seeing the church of Christ reach this world and change lives – then you should probably pick this book up. Enjoy!





Twittering!

16 05 2009

Alright, I have finally begun. After all this time reading about it…and hearing about it…and even checking it out from time to time – I finally did it! I am officially TWITTER-ing! In case there is someone out there who might have some interest in keeping up with my life, you can follow me at http://twitter.com/chuckhill¬†

If you are twittering and would like to share it with me…feel free to comment below.¬† Let’s keep the progressing moving!

Chuck





Belong – Believe – Become!

12 05 2009

Jesus SavesFor some time now, I have been thinking some deep thoughts about the ministry we call “CHURCH!” Now, just for the record, I know that “the church” is the global body of believers in Christ. It has very little to do with where we meet…or even when we meet for that matter. But just so that we are all speaking the same language here today, let me use the word “church” to describe the event that takes place each week when believers and non-believers come together to hear the message of hope and life as the gospel of Jesus is presented. Are you with me on this? Okay.

Here’s what I have been dealing with on an intellectual and spiritual level. Are we doing church the way we should? Is God pleased by what is taking place “at church” (remember – the gathering together event each week)? And are we really serving a purpose – making a difference by what we do each week. And as if that isn’t enough, who do we do church for — is it for those inside the family of God (believers) or is it for those outside of the family of God (unbelievers)?

Pretty deep stuff huh? Well, let me tell you what I have discovered…and it is revolutionizing my way of approaching ministry. I am rediscovering that the church exists to glorify God, unite believers in the faith & serve as the primary force for reaching the world. The church is here (in my case, in Greenville – South Carolina) for the purpose of coming together to share and shape our faith, honor God, and connect lost people with the love of Christ! So how do we do all of those things? Is it really possible? I have discovered it fairly difficult to do it all, and when it is working — it still isn’t easy. Let me tell you a story…

Some time ago, a lost person began attending the church I pastor (we’ll call this person Mack – though that’s not their real name). Well, Mack finally¬†came after numerous invites and many relational moments he had had with someone in our church family. Upon his arrival, it was clear to him that church was very different than the world he ran in week each¬†week.¬†And¬†to be honest, Mack was¬†even a bit uncomfortable by everything (people prayed¬†aloud – at the same time, they sang songs with much enthusiasm,¬†raised their arms in the air, were all friendly…almost overly friendly, they hugged each other – and even hugged Mack). But there was something about this “event” that intriggued¬†Mack. He began to come regularly and even brought a friend with him (honestly, I don’t think he wanted to be alone). It was clear to Mack that most everyone he met was different than him…and it was clear to most everyone, that Mack was very different than them. But he continued to come.¬†Mack¬†and his friend very growing in their curiosity of this thing we called “faith in God”. They were asking a lot of questions. Deep questions. Hard¬†questions! But they kept coming. Their lifestyles were very worldly to say the least…yet they never quit attending¬†“church”. One week, about¬†7 weeks into the “church experiment”, Mack¬†told me that he and his friend were¬†really enjoying the church.¬†He said, there was still a lot they didn’t understand – but they were¬†enjoying the fact that the people accepted them and welcomed them in.¬†Mack even went so far as to say, “We are really becoming very comfortable at your church.” Now, when I heard that¬†statement, I have to admit – it took me back a little bit. What did that mean? ¬†Comfortable? Really? I had aways been un-officially taught that church should be the last place where anyone is comforatble. And yet, here are two people from a very “worldly” background saying they were comfortable. I was so confused..and concerned. And then it happened. On week 8 – Mack’s friend lifted his hand after a time of prayer and acknowledged that he had just given his life to Christ. WOW! I was stunned…and yet excited. I called a pastor friend and explained the whole story to him and this was his reply. He said, “Chuck, what you have done is created a place where (he) could belong before he believed!” And you know, that is exactly what has happened. But that’s not where the story ends. The next part of the story is about that friend “becoming” all that God wants him to be. He is growing. Small steps – but steps never-the-less. And that brings me to my conclusion.

Church ought to be a place where people (lost and found people) can BELONG. A safe place to connect and hear a very dangerous message about life in Christ and hope for tomorrow. It ought to be a place where people can BELIEVE. An environment that encourages life change and daring to trust in Jesus. Where the natural meets the supernatural and people put their faith in Christ. And it ought to be a place where all people BECOME. Where they new believers and the long-term believers continue to grow in their faith and spiritual walk. Where no one ever arrives, but everyone is encouraged to discover the life God has designed them to live. I am convinced that our church (TFC РTrinity Fellowship Church in Greenville, South Carolina) must be a place where people can Belong, Believe and Become!

What do you think about all that? Let’s chat!