Saturday, April 11, 2009

Defining Moments

Alright, earlier this week a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video about a highschool student in New York. I really didn't have any expectations except that the young man must have some talent. When I watched the clip I was amazed to say the least...not because of his skills but because of his heart. Well, the young man is autistic and doesn't play - he fills the role as the manager. But as his season came to an end, his coach allowed him to dress out for the last game. Not intending to play - but really just allowing him to feel the excitment of the game up close. As the game draws to an end, the unthinkable happens. The coach has a defining moment...and chooses to play the boy. What happens next coupld only be described as a "fairy tale ending". Watch the clip below and tell me what you think.

My advice to out opportunities in your own life and relationships which could also be descibed as "defining" as well.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Living Beyond Ourselves!

Once again I have been reminded of the real purpose in life...and rather than living to get what we can out of it, it's all about living to give what we can to bless the lives of others. I can think of no one who better modeled this than Jesus himself. He was completely "Others-centered".

Today I had the joy of giving a few hours of my time with a couple other men to serve one of the families in our church. When we arrived at the home, we recognized a family desperate for God to minister to them - through us. There needs were simple (cleaning up the leaves in their backyard, cleaning out their gutters, repairing a few small mechanical items in their home, etc.). And even though they were relatively simple jobs - what it meant to the family we will probably never know.

Here's the thing - what took very little money, time and energy went a long way to strengthen, encourage and bless an entire family. This was what I would call the "Jesus Way"! Taking little and making much out of it. It can be seen in the story of the little boy with a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. A little which was shared and bless the multitudes.

So I conclude with this question to you. What have you given lately to put someone else before yourself? What do you possess which others are desperate to receive? Is it your time, your talent or your treasure?

Whatever it may be...take the time to offer it "unto the Lord" and see the difference you little can make in the life of someone else.

Isn't it time to try living beyond ourselves?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Re-Thinking Our Approach

Have you ever noticed how the church seems to operate on a totally different level than the rest of the "Real World?" Now, before you get a little hot under the collar - let me explain what I'm talking about. Sometimes it seems as if the church just does things without really thinking things through. For instance, we have catch phrases that we us which no one except churched people would ever understand. It's like we have these code words that are expected and if you don't know them code word - then somehow you are kept on the outside of "Church Life". Or, maybe it's the songs we EXPECT everyone to know - and yet profess to be concerned with reaching those outside of the "Christian Faith." And yet, by expecting everyone to know our songs...we somehow push the very people we long to reach further away. Well, I am not suggesting that we throw out our traditions -- just that we share them in a better way.

Just today a friend sent me a video about such things -- and though it is a bit extreme in it's opinions, it sure gets a message across. Maybe it's time we (as the church) rethink how we promote Jesus and adjust our approach to better connect with those who need Him most. Just a thought. Hope the clip below makes you simle, laugh and maybe think at the same time. Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Make Sure You Vote!!!

Today I viewed a video clip created by the Catholic Church. This clip powerfully portrays what is at stake in this election and why every person of faith in Christ must take responsibility in letting their vote be counted. Though the issues are clear - this video never promotes nor endorses any candidate or party. I think this is the best video I have ever watched which promotes the right to vote. View this and let me know what you think!



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The things we do...

Just a few days ago I had the joy of attending the 7th birthday party for the son of one of my friends. Now I have to tell you - his parents are highly creative and very fun, so it shouldn't have surprised me but it did! As we arrived, the yard was set up with chairs around their deck (much like a concert arena would be), and the children were all given homemade guitars for the day. You see, the theme of this party was "Rock-n-Roll"...and everything was tied in to that theme. 

Well it was so much fun. We were all given backstage passes for Joey's party which included a verse of scripture noting how God was our "Rock!" This party came complete with a guitar cake, microphones to sing into, blue hair spray to fix the doos, stick on tattoos and all the joys of a celebration of the 7 year old's life. It was great.

Here's the cool thing though...the parents decided that what would be great would be a guest appearance by the boy's favorite band. And since Skillet wasn't available - the dads and uncle formed an air-band we called "Cast Iron Skillet". We probably weren't very good - but the children thought we were the best. 

I say all of this to say that what we did was no small thing. We went out of our way to express to this little boy how special he was and how much his family and friends loved him. I promise you he will never forget that day. And neither will I, because I saw first hand how loving and thoughtful parents can really bless their children. May we all learn to step out of our comfort zones and our boring routines of life and be willing to engage our children on their level! Let's celebrate the gifts that God has given us in them. now I will embarrass myself by showing you the debut of "Cast Iron Skillet!" (And by the way, I am the drummer in the background with the blue Faux-Hawk.) Enjoy!

Joe Noyes, Justin Welch, Rob Orozco & Chuck Hill

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Amazing Designer

Wow! I don't know how else to describe what I am about to show you in this video clip below than "Wow"! 

Now, I know there are probably many of you have have seen this and researched this and understand the depths of the molecular structure of our body. And I know I am probably way behind the 8-ball here...but this is simply amazing. For those of you who haven't yet heard of this molecule within your body called "laminin" - you are about to be blown away. 

The video clip I am speaking about was taken from a message that Louie Giglio preached earlier this year. It is based on a psalm that describes all things created. It is a message which gives the glory to God for all he has done. In this short clip he references the fact that in built into our bodies cells and molecular structure is evidence of our creator and the way of salvation - the cross of Christ. I want you to take the 8 minutes necessary and view this clip from Youtube...and then write me back and let me know what you are thinking! I promise you it will strike to the core of your being and cause you to say - "Yeah God!"


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Orphan's Dream!

Do I have a story for most of you are aware, a couple of friends of mine who live here in Greenville, SC are doing one of the most amazing things I have ever heard of. This past summer Mike & Evelyn Pili took their family and traveled over 12,000 miles to the a southern island in the Philippines. The purpose of this trip was to begin the ground work of planting an orphanage. They spent nearly 7 weeks meeting with government officials, church leaders, religious organizations, business owners and the orphans of Southern Leyte. Their desire was to at least "spy out the land", and possible make a purchase of some property. What actually took place was that men in high places blessed them beyond measure. The came home having received a very large -- choice piece of land, having feed nearly 350 orphans three times a week, organized a board of elders to over-see the operation and received a commitment from numerous ministries to volunteer to serve and assist in one of many areas. To say they achieved their goals is a major understatement!

I tell you this story just to remind you that there are still people in the world who are more concerned with others than themselves. There are still those who will make major sacrifices to bless the lives of others! 

I am so very proud to call Mike and Evelyn friends. I pray their lives and commitment to the greater good would rub off on my life!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Madden 2009 - An Experience Of A Lifetime!

Alright, let me begin by saying yesterday was a day to remember. My son Jonathan and I have a deep connection through our enjoyment of all things technical. You name it, if it involves computers or wires or electricity -- if it is a gadget or a game we probably have some knowledge of it. In fact, we might even have it. We just love to read and research and experience the latest movements in the world of creative technology. For years now, any time I have replaced a phone or PDA my son wanted my old one. When he was younger it was to pretend...but as he has gotten older it has been to learn and use whatever I was passing on to him. Well not to long ago we were able to obtain a Wii (the latest in gaming by Nintendo). You can read the post entitled A Boy & His Wii Little Faith to find out the great story surrounding the Wii. Anyways, lately we have been enjoying the sports games that Nintendo offers. A week ago I purchased Madden 2008 (last years NFL game) and we played it and enjoyed it and competed every free chance we found. The beauty of all of this was that the store we bought it from told me that if I would bring it back within a week, that they would put the full return value towards the new Madden 2009 NFL game. So that is what we did. Only, we returned the game yesterday and couldn't pick the game up until today, because it officially comes out on August 12, 2008. However, there was one option...the store said they were going to open up at midnight last night to allow the "real fans" the opportunity to get the game 8 hours earlier than everyone else. I actually laughed out loud when the clerk mentioned this...because, I could think of a lot of better things to do at midnight than drive out to pick up a video game at a store! Like SLEEP! Well, Jonathan asked me to consider it...and he had a host of reasons why this would be a great idea. But I would hear of it. I told him he could get it tomorrow just like everyone else around the world.

That was my plan - and I was going to stick with it. Well, that was until I looked at the clock last night and saw the time - 11:09pm. Now my son was already in bed and fast asleep. He was toasty and dreaming (or so I assume). I was already in bed, relaxing, preparing to sleep...when it hit me. This could be a moment that my son never forgets. This could be an adventure of a lifetime. So I did what every good, fun loving dad would do...I got up, got dressed and snuck into my son's room. He sleeps in a loft bed - so I flicked on the light and climbed up on top and began shouting, "GET UP! GET UP! IT'S TIME! GET UP!" Well, needless to say, he was startled, confused, disoriented and a bit scared! It was awesome. I drug him out of bed - helped him get dressed and then told him what was happening. He couldn't believe it. He was in disbelief. 

So we jumped in my truck and hit the road. When we arrived the place ushered us in and took care of the paperwork and then directed us to a line outside. We waited. They gave us little bags of Combos (the snack crackers) to keep us satisfied until the game could legally be released. It was so exciting! Everyone in line was buzzing with nervous energy. And then it happened. They opened the doors and gave us our game! We were on our way back home by 12:08am. Only one last thing to do - yeah that's right, we hit Taco Bell for the 4th meal! Grabbed us some mexi-melts and a tacos and were on our way back home. 

We played one full game and went to bed at 1:30am...which is when my son said, "Thanks Daddy! I love you so much. This was so much fun and I will never forget this." 

And with that I close. An experience of a lifetime...for both of us! As my Daddy would put it, we were making memories!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Leadership & Legacy

Well this weekend I have a very distinct privilege of welcoming one of my former students into my pulpit. As many of you are aware, I have been in ministry for nearly 15 years now...and during the mid 90's I youth pastored in central Georgia. While there I met and became very close with one remarkable young man. Matt was in high school at the time, but had a maturity about him that went way beyond his years. Well, since those days, I have watched from a distance as Matt grew into a distinguished man of God. Currently he is serving on staff where I first met him. And this weekend he will be bringing 10 students to Greenville, SC to share in ministry. I am so proud of all that he is doing for the Kingdom of God. It is with great pride that I welcome him here. If this is what legacy looks like - then bring it on! I am encouraged by the way God uses my little to produce much!

Have a great weekend...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Growing Up!

Yesterday marked my daughter's 8th birthday. We followed our regular routine on birthdays - got up early, went to breakfast for our 3-D event (Daddy Daughter Date), did a little shopping and then home to make the exchange with mom. Only this is where things changed...when my wife took my daughter out, they hit the mall. But not the normal mall outing - this one had a greater significance. My wife took my daughter out for the official coming of age event for little girls - she took her to get her ears pierced. I will say this, she looks beautiful - but somehow she seemed to have grown up a little through the experience. She looks older, acts a bit older...and that is where reality sets in. Here's the thing, one day my little girl will grow up and set out on her own. Some day I will participate in the tradition of "giving her away!" And I have to admit there is a little part of me that wants nothing to do with that. And yet, I will...

Well, here's to my girl (who will always be "Daddy's little girl" - earrings and all)! I love her, am proud of her...and am ready to beat back any little snotty nosed boys that come knocking on my door. So be fore-warned!!!

I thank God for the gift He has entrusted me with in Savannah. What a wonderful blessing she is!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cornhole & Fine Reunions

Okay, so I will admit it...the title to this post is pretty strange. The thing is, I have two things I want to chat about. First of all, Cornhole has become one of the most fun things I have done lately. I know this must sound very strange - but as the song says, "don't knock it till you've tried it!" Cornhole is an official tailgating party game. It is played with 8 corn-bags (similar to beanbags) and two boards with a six inch hole in them. It is played sort of like horse shoes (but much safer and less difficult). Well, this week I introduced the game to our church and the buzz quickly spread throughout the entire congregation. Both young and old enjoyed it at a recent cook-out we shared together. At one point it even began to get a bit "cut-throat" - but still really fun!!! I have a great video clip I am going to attach at the end of this post. You must watch it...and get ready to laugh!

The second thing I want to say is how exciting it is to finally have my son home after a 4 week stint away with his grandparents. It seemed like an eternity - but all that is over now! I have my son back...yeah!!! We have spent the day together just hanging out and catching up on life. He has shared so many cool moments and great stories of his trip with me, and I yet I still feel like there is more to come. 

Well, enjoy this video and let me know what you think. If you are up for a game...bring it! Later.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Searching For Answers

Well, today I want to share a video with you that has really brought meaning to my day. For the past few weeks I have been reading and studying a book of the bible that has challenged me to say the least. In fact, if I am honest (and I should be) I have had moments of distain for certain things I have read and tried to understand. The passage of scripture really messes with my theology (understanding of who God is and how He works). I typically think of myself as a very positive person with a pretty upbeat outlook on life. Because of this, much of my understanding of God focuses on His love for people and His desire to bless our lives. The struggle comes in when I have to balance that with the realities of life...and difficult days. My study has come from the Old Testament book of Habakkuk...and the FACT that God sometimes uses the dark, evil, and even wicked things of this world to bring about His righteous purposes within the earth. It all takes me back to the story and the life of Job...the man who had everything - and then lost it...only to remain faithful to God and once again find his life blessed beyond measure. The theological questions that most often arise are: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and "Why do good things happen to bad people?"

Well, I certainly do not profess to have the answers to those age-old questions...I do know that God is love and that His passion for people far exceeds my understanding. Which brings me to the video I mentioned earlier. I discovered one of the most moving videos I have ever watched. It goes right to the heart of the discussion I have been having within my own heart and mind. And though it doesn't answer the questions either - it goes reflect the proper attitude and approach I (and you) must possess -- "Though He slay me - yet will I serve Him."

I will tell you, when I watched this video the first time, I was unprepared from the way it moved me. It deals with a very sensitive subject in a wonderful way. I encourage you to grab a box of tissue and open up your heart to what God might speak to you. Be blessed...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Learning More...

So here's the deal...I don't know everything there is to know. I admit it without hesitation!

Have you ever come to that realization that you are still learning? I mean honestly - have you come to that realization that even though you have come so far in life, you are still nothing more than a desperate student of life? 

As I write these...words, it is actually kind of freeing to think that I am not the deposit or reservoir  for ultimate knowledge. Perfect example - it just took me about five tries to even type the word reservoir because I kept misspelling it. I don't have complete knowledge. And thank God for spell check! 

Well, I feel like I am embarking on a new season of life. I think I will call it the "Deepening" of my life. After having been married for nearly 15 years now and serving in church ministry for all of that time, I sense that I must grow to be able to fulfill the calling on my life. I must be stretched. I must learn more. As I write this I am preparing for a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with a team of men and women searching for the same thing - more understanding and knowledge. It is my desire to come back with a mind and heart full of new thoughts. Thoughts that will drive me to great action in life. I have been talking a lot lately about being "Fully N-gaged" with life lately. And, I can think of no better way to do that than to engage the opportunities given me for growth. 

And how about this...on top all I am feeling personally, I received a call from a mentor who shared some "loving words of direction" with me. It was one of those moments when someone who wants the best in you to come out of you. And so I listened to him go through a short list of areas that need some "deepening". Okay, let me be the first to admit: I hate those kinds of moments. It would be my desire never to receive guidance or direction from others...yet, I am desperate for it. For without it - I am small...less than that, I am nothing!

The bible directs me to "Get wisdom"...and it tells me that such wisdom is found in the counsel of many! Well, as I embark on this season of "deepening" I hope and pray that I become all that God desire of me. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saying Goodbye...

Well first let me say this has been an incredibly long and tiring weekend. It has been very good, but very long. Sometimes it amazes me how certain things (emotional moments) can sap your energy more than physical activity! This weekend proved to be one of those times.

As the weekend began, one of the dear ladies within our church family passed away. She had been sick off and on and had "fought a good fight". She was 78 years old and had served the Lord for most of that time. Her passing was truly a "Home-going!" More on that later...

On Friday I also prepared to marry one of the couples within our church. We had their wedding rehearsal and had such a good time (we laughed way more than we probably should have). On Saturday I married them and watched as they began their life together. It was very fun and a real joy for me to participate! That afternoon we said good-bye as they left for their honeymoon.

On Saturday we also received a visit from one of our former students (who happens to be all grown up now). She was a part of our youth ministries in the early 90's and today she works just outside of Washington, DC. She is doing great and still passionate about her relationship with Jesus.

By the time Sunday rolled around - I was very drained...and yet my weekend was just beginning. Have you ever been there?

After the am service I received some information that one of the families in our church were going to be moving away. This family is such a key part of what God has been doing at TFC (Trinity Fellowship Church) and hearing this totally caught me off guard. As I tried to be supportive, deep in my heart and mind I was already grieving their loss. Saying good-bye just never seems to be easy for me.

Well, after a picnic with my small group up on Paris Mountain (so beautiful). We told our group good-bye and went home to crash. Monday turned out to be a nice memorial day...we explained to our children what we were remembering and honored those who had given their lives for our country and our freedom. After a cook-out at home our friend Jill (from DC) loaded up her things and my wife took her to the airport. Again, we said good-bye. 

And that brings me back to today. I watched as nearly 200 people packed a room to remember Helen Robertson. The stories that were told would have made even the toughest of hearts soften. One man said he had know her for nearly 60 years and yet in all that time could not remember one bad thing about this woman. She was precious - genuinely sweet. And as I finished speaking and we prepared to leave the grave side...we all were forced to say good-bye.

And life goes on! Our parting ways and closing chapters doesn't complete the story. God still has more and the story is still being written. So I must rest and live to serve God in more ways in the days ahead. 

May you be blessed today and stay focused on the call for which God has given you. Be blessed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And so it begins...

This past weekend we launched the vision and inspiration behind our newest ministry - THE ORPHAN'S DREAM! In June we will be sending two of our own (Mike and Evelyn Pili) to Southern Leyte, Philippines. They will begin the process of launching a brand new orphanage. We have already made contact with the community leaders, invested into a local congregation, partnered with an area pastor and even purchased land for this ministry. The foundational stones are clearly being laid. It will only be a short time until we become fully engaged in the ministry and outreach to the Philippines. I am confident that what God has started within us - He will see to completion!

If you would like to discover more about this project, please check out the interview I did with Mike last month or the message I shared with our church this past weekend (you can find them both under the e-source page of Trinity Fellowship Church website - Contact our Missions Task Force with questions or comments at

If you would like to partner with us, donations can be made through the TFC website as well. 

We will keep you posted on the is going to be so exciting!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stretching My Faith...

Alright, I know I should do this much more regularly - but I just haven't managed to make this apart of my daily discipline. I should I benefits me to write and express my thoughts. There is something fairly powerful about getting your heart out on paper (or in this case on the digital screen of my laptop). One thing I have noticed is that once it's there - it's there. So if i dream and write of things to come...I am somehow committed to my thoughts. It is as though typing it out makes it real - and pushes me to create an expectation for it to come to pass. The bible would call that FAITH. And, "oh you gotta have faith, faith, faith!" Sorry I just couldn't resist!

Well, here's to blogging - or faithing, however you want to look at it!

Until next time.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Boy & His "Wii" Little Faith!

Alright folks, it has been way too long since the last blog. Consistency is needed!
Well, much has been going on since my last blog. My son turns 10 in just a few weeks, the season has shifted again...warmer weather around the corner, still waiting to see who will drop out first - Clinton or Obama...will it ever end! Moving on...
Just a few of weeks ago my son approached me about something close to his heart - a Wii. For those who have fallen off the planet and are not familiar with what this is - let me fill you in. The Wii is the newest form of gaming from Nintendo. It is completely wireless and very interactive. Well, I gave my son Jonathan some money a few weeks ago and he later that evening he approached me with an idea he had. In his words, "Dad - I was thinking..." Just so you know, those are always very dangerous words to a dad...and they usually mean something is going to cost a me a lot of money! As he continued, his idea was that he take the money I gave him, the money he is expecting to receive from family and friends for his birthday and even the money he expects to earn through work (primarily a lemonade stand) this coming summer...and save it to buy a Wii. He even went so far as to say that if I want, I could assist him with this purchase by putting my money in the pot. This boy has big dreams. I asked if he knew what a Wii would cost and to my surprise he did ($250 +). Again, I had given him some money earlier that day - $4. I asked how much he had so far and he said that along with what I had given him...his grand total to date was $4. All he had was what I had given him. Again, I must reinforce the fact that his dream was big!
Long story short, he was convinced that God would help him earn the money and get this Wii for our family. Well, though I did not have the confidence he did...I encouraged him never the less. Upon telling this story to 5 friends I have breakfast with every Thursday, they were moved by his "faith" and wanted to partner with him. They each through cash my way and said "give this to Jonathan!" To my amazement - after just two and a half weeks, Jonathan has received a total of $239.50 towards this Wii. 
All I can say is "WOW!" If this isn't a story of a little boy's faith making a difference - then I do not know what is. This story reminds me of another story about a little boy who had just a few pieces of bread and a couple of fish - yet when they were placed in the hands of Jesus they fed thousands. Here's my point: we must never underestimate what God can do through us and for us. We must believe! 
My prayer: "God, would you help our unbelief that we might trust you to do more in our lives!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Does my vote really matter?

I have had way too many conversations with people lately about whether or not their vote really matters. The basic line of thought is that there are so many people who will vote that my single vote will really be ruled insignificant at best...and powerless at worst. I can't stress how far off that way of thinking is from the truth.

Voting, at its core, is a value in which our society (here in the United States of America) is deeply rooted. It wasn't too long ago that we fought for this "right" - losing good men and on the battlefield. Therefore, being able to share our opinions and way in on the conversations our nation is engaged in through casting a ballot is a fundamental principle on which our democracy is built. I want to urge you to not overlook, underestimate or take this right for granted. When you have the opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings through an election or a vote - take it! Seize the moment. Leave your mark and make a difference in our society.

Let me also speak to one other issue. I have heard the discussion of many well known radio personalities weigh in on the current political scene. One issue which has been in the forefront of many conversations has to do with the presidential election. There are some who are disappointed in the expected nominee of on party or the other. Because of this, they have said that should a particular candidate receive the nominee of their party that they would just boycott or skip the voting in November. I must say, that is a terrible response.

Let me use the republican party as an example. If you are a conservative and find yourself frustrated by Senator John McCain being your party's candidate (should this be the case), skipping the election and choosing not to cast a ballot would be a huge mistake. In essence, a non-vote for one part becomes a vote for the other party. A withheld vote for McCain would essentially be a vote of support for his rival on the other side of the political aisle. Your frustration would ultimately be supporting the very views you oppose. What a huge mistake. It would be a shame to think that our forefathers gave their lives for this right - and out of disappointment, you abandon your duty.

I write this today simply to encourage you...whatever your political affiliation, to serve this country well by lifting your voice and casting your vote. There is no more patriotic response you could have than standing up and letting your opinion be heard. So as the the presidential race continues to gain momentum and get closer - make up your mind now to be apart of the process.

You vote really does matter!

- Chuck

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The fall season is well under way here in the Upstate of South Carolina. The trees have all changed color and the leaves have begun to make their short journey to the ground. This has always been my favorite season of the year. Even as a young boy, this time of year used to fascinate me. With the changing of the seasons comes a change to so many aspects of life. The air gets cooler, the days grow darker much quicker, the ground becomes scattered with the color of the trees, etc. I find myself looking for new change with each passing day. The only problem I find with this time of year is this - we move from the beauty of the leaves and the crisp fall air straight into winter. With winter comes the cold wind, the hardened ground, the frigid tempatures, the dormant grass and just seems as if life on the outside ceases to exist!

Okay, I know it appears that I have just gone into a very depressing state...but hang with me for a moment.

In Ecclesiastes 3 we find these words:

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Did you catch that? Solomon says that God has created a time for everything - every activity under the sun. And, along with the timing of God, He has made everything beautiful in its time! The point here is God understands change better than anyone - and He knows how to make the changes that come to you and me instrumental in the process of reflecting His glory. I know this, because there is no beauty - no good - nothing right outside of the presence of God!

Here is my advice to you...rather than fight the shifs and changes of life, move with them. See them as opportunities to discover the glory of God. Recognize the changes of life as moments for experiencing and reflecting the beauty of our Heavenly Father!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Divin' In Deep

Alright, there are few things that bring a pastor as much joy as what I experienced tonight. I got to be with our church family in a time of radical celebration. I had the privilege of baptizing seven people tonight who decided to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives. Man, this is what ministry is all about! I have to of the things that really made this special was that I also got to baptize my son Jonathan. Okay, there was a temptation to take him down more than once just to make sure it sticks...but, you should all be proud of me. I settled for just the one dip with him. On a serious note, being able to hear him share how much he loved Jesus and that he was looking forward to living for Jesus for the rest of his life made my heart swell with joy. What a touching moment. It shall be a time that I will never forget. My prayer is that he will never forget it either!

One of the other guys I baptized was a man who has really had a huge transformation take place in his life. It was just a year ago that he repented of his sin and committed his life to Jesus. Tonight, before we came out from behind the platform in the church we were using for this service, he shared his testimony with me again. With tears in his eyes he shared how thankful he was for the amazing turn-around his life has taken. Chains (emotional, cultural and physical) have been broken and he has been set free to live the abundant life that God designed from the beginning for him. I am so proud of this man...and this is just the beginning!

Still pressing on and living for Christ!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

All is good. This past weekend I met with my LIFE Group (our small group) and had a really good time exploring and dialoging with each other about miracles. This just happened to be on the tail-end of the personal - very personal miracle my family experienced last week. If you haven't heard and would like to read about that miracle...check out my last blog (Absolutely Amazing). Well, here is the thing. What we discovered in this study was not as much about the specifics of the miracle Jesus performed - as much as we did the character of the man Jesus. It was powerful...when Jesus healed the woman who had been bleeding for over 12 years (seriously bad season of her life) the bible says that He called her a daughter of Israel. In doing so, Jesus embraced her for who she was and valued her as a person. This is very significant - because, in doing so, Jesus risked a lot. This woman was considered to be "un-clean" - and anyone who got too close would be labeled the same. Never-the-less, Jesus reaches out and embraces the lowest level of society and then brings her up. He wasn't concerned about her bringing Him down - He was just ready to bring her up!

Wow, doesn't that just get you at the core of your being? Jesus is all about bringing people up. What a novel idea. Why don't we try following His lead?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's Absolutely Amazing!!! might want to sit down for this one. On Thursday afternoon, I was leaving the hospital after having visited one of the families in our church when my phone rang. My wife quickly (and somewhat in a panic) told me that through a routine visit for my daughter, that her pediatrician had discovered a problem. Savannah (age 7) needed to be rushed to the hospital for a battery of tests, blood work, and an ultrasound. The doctor discovered that her spleen which should be soft and hidden by the rib cage had become hard and was sticking below her ribs nearly 2 1/2 inches (that's a lot by the way...). Well, he explained to Lori that the causes could be any number of things, mono...viral infection...or...lukemia!!! With all the nervous angst flowing through our minds we quickly got Savannah admitted. The radiologist went first and spent an hour and a half measuring every organ within Savannah's chest and abdomen. Once she was through, she slipped out to meet with the doctors and said she would be back in a few moments. For 20 painstaking minutes we waited. The radiologist returned and the phone rang. She answered and then passed it over to Lori. It was our doctor...the original doctor who found the troubled spleen. Let me pause here for a moment...I should probably tell you that during the 25 minutes it took for my wife to drive to the hospital I went back out and sat in my truck and really interceded for Savannah. I prayed and asked God for a miracle. I cursed the devil. I rebuked the enemy of our souls. I prayed scriptures. I reminded God of His word and begged him for a miracle for my daughter. Specifically, I asked Him to allow her spleen to go back to it's normal size and state and for their to be no lingering issues to deal with. back to the story. The doctor on the other end of the phone told my wife, "Lori, you and I both felt the hardened spleen. I measured it. I showed it to you. I know it was enlarged! However, the doctors and radiologists at the hospital are telling me that that can't feel it now, it is not protruding below the rib cage and everything seems to measure exactly as it should in her abdomen and chest. All I can say is something has happened." He then instructed us to take her home and come in for a follow-up visit next week. According to our doctor - she was sick, but now she is well. What was there is no longer an issue. She has been healed! Our greatest fears were relieved by the absolutely amazing power of God! We rejoice!!! Praise the Lord!

Be encouraged today. As God has been with us, He can be with you!

Monday, August 20, 2007


C.S. Lewis made a powerful declaration when he wrote, "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important!" Wow! Did you get that? What Lewis was asserting was this - our faith is either the undeniable truth or it is the greatest scam job ever invented by man...but what it is not is a moderate unimportant issue of life.

This past weekend I had a conversation with the congregation I pastor and I asked the question, "How big is your God?". Isn't that really the biggest question of faith that we must address? I say this because the size of your God will determine the quality of your faith and life.

A contemporary author I have been reading is Mark Batterson. He has recently written a book that challenges the quality of faith that most so-called Christ followers are living. One of the most powerful statements I have ever pondered came from his pen. And it is this, most Christ-followers do not have a circumstantial problem - but rather a perceptual problem. The core of this statement hinges on the thought that many times we enlarge our problems and we downgrade our God. When this happens - life becomes overwhelming, heavy, disappointing and joyless.

Another result of this kind of weak living is that our faith becomes moderate and empty at best. I think it is time that we SUPER-SIZE the God we serve and make this thing we call faith a big deal once again!

That's all for now...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I'm back...not that I had ever really been gone. But I am officially writing again.

Well, here are my thoughts tonight. When the world is hard and life is busy...there is nothing like slowing down with a Cinnamon Dulce' Latte. Not that I am enjoying one of these right now! This weekend my wife was away at a retreat with some of her friends...and from the sounds of things, she had a really great time. As for me, I had a wonderful weekend with the kids. Just Daddy and four incredibly busy children. I now uderstand what my Momma and Daddy meant when they used to say, "Some day, I hope you have kids just like you!" Wow, was that ever a harsh thing to say. No, not really. My children are all so very different. Though they all seem to favor each other in the looks department, they are extremely different in the personality department. The amazing thing is that I see the scripture which David penned coming alive in my own family. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." What creativity our maker has. He has made each of us with a uniqueness all our own. And though His thumb prints have been placed upon us...we all reflect His mark - His reflection in very different ways.

As for this blog, I just want to say how thankful I am for the blessing of God through the gift of individuality. What a terrific thing - to be alike and yet very different at the same time!

Our creator God is simply amazing!

Think on these things...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Life as Usual!

Umm...doesn't this picture of a cup of coffee look good! it has been way too long since my last blog! I know and I am sorry for the delay. Life has been very busy lately. Has it been that way for you too? Well enough of that, now I am just let the anxiety and aggression go. And let's get on to the task at hand.

Here is the deal. As I sit here at my desk (wishing I were at Carolina Coffee Roasters, Greer, SC), I can't help but wonder what life would be like if everyone who truly embraced Christ (and the Kingdom mindedness) began to passionately live for Him. Don't you agree, that if real followers of Christ -- I mean truly committed believers began to come alive and live passionately before this world that things would begin to happen? Wouldn't this world take notice? Not that they would jump up and embrace all that we do...but wouldn't there be a point of decision that people would come to? As it is now, it seems that life can just so easily be "in Christ" and still "in the world." There seems to be very little - or at least unnoticiable difference between those who claim to be followers of Christ and those who do not. Doesn't the bible tell Christ followers that we are to be both salt and light to our world? Well, the last time I checked...both salt and light make a big difference. If you don't believe me then try eating your eggs in the mornings without salt. Try enjoying any vegetable without the luxury or adding salt -- which by the way enhances the flavor of the item. And by way of light...try walking through any room (of which you are unfamiliar) without the benefit of light. I mean NO LIGHT...not even the haze or glow from your cell phone. None! The truth is - without light, you will stumble your way through the room. You will fall over any and everything in your way. You see...both salt and light make a huge difference.

So that's my thoughts...let's live our lives as change agents. Let's live dangerously. Let's come alive with passion for Christ. No longer blending longer looking and acting like everyone else. Let's be what we were called out of the darkness and into this marvelous light to be.


Chuck Hill

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Moment by Moment...

It seems as though it has been forever since my last blog. Actually, it has only been three weeks...never-the-less, it has been three weeks too long!

Well, let me begin by bringing you up to speed as to where I am in my personal spiritual journey. Over the past couple of weeks I have been impressed with the need to press in and experience my faith in a more tangible way. Here is what I mean...

As I go through this life, I find that it is easy to jump from Sunday to Sunday in my spiritual walk. As though I can only experience the supernatural power of God on the weekends of my life. However, this mindset or thought pattern couldn't be further from the truth. As I read the scriptures and study God's written word, I find that He desires more than that for me. His plan is that I see Him, talk to Him, walk with Him, serve Him, embrace Him, praise Him, worship Him, live for Him every moment of my life. There is no weekend or vacation time in my pursuit of His presence. My faith life, spiritual experience should be one continuous flow. Never ceasing!

I have been reading one of the classic books in the Christian Faith this past week. Practicing His Presence, by Brother Lawrence & Frank Laubach. Maybe you have heard about it...or possibly read it? Whatever the case, it has been an eye-opening read for me (I say eye-opening read...I guess my eyes have to be open if I am going to read...well, you get my drift)! This book is actually a compelation of the daily writings and articles of these two great Christian men. The writings that have been the most challenging for me thus far have come from Frank Laubach.

He writes this, "January 20, 1930 - Although I have been a minister and a missionary for fifteen years, i have not lived the entire day of every day, minute by minute to follow the will of God...But this year, I have started out to live all my waking moments in conscious listening to the inner voice, asking without ceasing, 'What, Father, do you desire said? What, Father, do you desire this minute?' It is clear that this is exactly what Jesus was doin all day every day."

Wow! To think that I could actually begin to position myself to live every moment of every day in the presence of God. Always mindful of His abiding Spirit with and within me. Yes! Yes! That is my desire. I mean, can you phathom that kind of living. All of a sudden, everything changes. The way I do what I do. Where I go. How I speak to others. Everything changes...because it all becomes done in the presence of and in the name of Jesus Christ. That kind of living is what the Christian Faith is all about.

St. Irenaeous (who was a disciple of Polycarp - the student of the Apostle John) once said, "The glory of God is man fully alive!" I think the kind of living that the missionary Frank Laubach wrote about is the very type of living that St. Irenaeous was speaking about. When we live fully alive in the presence of Jesus Christ - He is glorified!

May God be glorified by your life and mine - every moment of every day!

Be blessed. Oh yea...CODA!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Drinking Coffee & Building Bridges!

If the last post revealed my flair for "good music" - then this post will reveal a little more of my personal passions in life. Again this week I could start this blog with the very same introduction that I used in the last post, "Everyone who knows me...I mean, those who really know me - knows that I love..." great coffee! Again, no real secret here. I can't hardly drive by a good coffee house without stopping and picking up a good cup o' Joe. But here is the reason for this weeks blog, as a believer in Christ - let alone a pastor, I have a responsibility to assist God in His global expansion program. In the circles I travel in, they often refer to this as "Evangelism." Now, before you form your opinions and get all uptight, let me help you understand the real purpose of this word. If you are like me, then the word "evangelism" probably conjures up pictures of crusades, stadiums, Billy Graham, the guy on the street corner wearing the placard sign with the writing "John 3:16" on it or something similar. Here is the deal though - all of that "stuff" may or may not be a form of the big "E"...But in any case, it is only a shallow corner of the pool. What I am trying to convey to you is that "E" is much broader and really much less complicated of foreign to your life than you may think.

Truth be told, I am not an evangelist. I do not have the spiritual gift which equips me for such a calling. I do not enjoy knocking on doors or passing out flier or tracts about Jesus. Bullhorns annoy me. Soap boxes aggravate me. And, placard signs tick me off. They really do! And if that was all there was to the big "E", then I would be very frustrated. Do you know why? Because, the Savior of my life (Jesus Christ) gave me a very important charge to, "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples." (Matt. 28:19 - CEV) If this is my responsibility, my spiritual charge - and I can only do it with a tract or a bullhorn, then I am destined to either be completely frustrated or a real failure!

Okay, so here is where the coffee thing comes back into play. Yesterday I discovered that an acquaintance and his wife were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Well, I know how it goes when a baby comes - the mother and the baby get all of the attention (rightfully so - no complaint here)! Because of this, I wanted to do something for the father. This morning I got up and went down to the local coffee house (Carolina Coffee Roasters if you must know) and picked up a freshly roasted pound of their finest coffee for this man. After visiting with he and his wife and of course the new baby girl, before leaving I placed this bag of coffee into his hands and shared some parting words. Now, I know you are trying to get ahead of me and figure out what all of this has to do with the big "E", so here it is. What I did today was simply to establish common ground with this man. I made a step forward in out relationship. Why? Simply because I wanted to. I have come to the understanding that everything in life pivots off of relationship. Without relationship you and I will accomplish very little.

What took place in my life today is just a picture of what real "Evangelism" is all about. It is about you and me connecting with people on their turf, in their world and building relationships. Evangelism is not so much about the big crusade as it is about the small personal connections we make with people. It is really about you and me building bridges into the lives of everyone we meet. You do not have to be their best friend, but you do have to care enough to reach out.

Jesus reached out all the time to those he came in contact with. The bible tells us he chatted with a woman about life while getting a drink of water, he chatted with lost people about life at a party that Matthew through for all of his lost friends, he chatted about life with a tax collector (thought to be the worst kind of sinner) at his house, and on and on the list goes. I am convinced that we would do well to follow his lead. I am planning to write about this again in the near future...But until then, just try to connect! Invite a friend for a good cup o' Joe, grab a bite to eat somewhere, go drive a bucket of golf balls with someone you know who is searching for more in their life than just the average stuff...And see if God doesn't show up!

My advice to you - grab a good cup of coffee, some good jazz music (i.e. Wynton Marsalis) and start a spiritual conversation with someone! Just see if this evangelism stuff doesn't come more naturally than you thought possible!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Spiritual Jazz

Everyone who knows me...I mean, those who really know me - knows that I love jazz music. And not just any jazz...but good jazz. You know - the old stuff! The bluesy, passionate, smooth, driving bassy kind of jazz. And , I believe there is a reason for this love-affair with real jazz music. It is probably because of the fact that as a musician jazz music provides the sense of freedom. Great freedom. Real freedom. There is the freedom to feel, to explore and discover the music. There is a freedom to flow as you wish - there are boundaries - but, they are healthy and wide. These boundaries are there simply to keep you focused and moving forward. There is a great freedom in this musical genre which opens the door for musicians to go from one edge to the other within the loose framework of melody, tone and rhythm. You can bend the rhythm, modify the chord progression, alter the key, change the mood and through it can express yourself. It allows you to express your heart, your emotions, your thought, your passions -- yourself!

What I have discovered is that in the serving Christ, there is this very same sense of freedom. My relationship with Jesus Christ is a lot like jazz music - good jazz music. Now I know, that Christianity has somehow become known as the faith of "NO!" rather than the faith of "YES!" But, that reveals the sad state of our misunderstandings of Christianity. The truth is , I am no more free in life than I am when I encounter and embrace Jesus Christ. In Him we are truly FREE! Free to live, free to discover, free to embrace the unchanging truth of who He is and what He taught. We are free to become...we are at the core, free to be!

It is through this discovery that I have begun this blog. The obvious parallelism that exists between my faith in Christ and my love for good Jazz music is exciting and thrilling for me personally. And, it is for that reason that I have chosen to name this blog: Spiritual Jazz.

I invite you to consider journeying with me through the ebb and flow of the faith in Christ. As you do - you will experience the greatest freedom of all!

Until next time...

Coda! (this is a musical term for "the end"...)