black history, theology, Kids' books

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Here's an Idea: Celebrate Thanksgiving By Saying Thank You

I'm thankful.

No, my life isn't perfect. Far from it.

Despite things I wish I could change, there are still plenty of reasons to be thankful.

And plenty of people to be thankful for.

As we near Thanksgiving, here's something  we can all do to be thankful.

Make a list of people who have believed in you, cared for you, invested in you and have loved you unconditionally. Then find a way to tell them thank you. And not just a generic thank you, but a detailed note that explains why you are so thankful for them in your life.

One final suggestion. Do it in a personal way. A phone call, a handwritten letter, etc. Something that shows you took time and didn't opt for the convenience of a text message. If you are super ambitious, try to do one every day until Thanksgiving.  

I write these blogs as conversation-starters. Tell me someone you are thankful to have in your life.

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Monday, September 7, 2015

Am I "Incredible" (Part 2 of 2)

Remember the movie, The Incredibles

As the film opens, Bob Parr is doing what he does best. Serving his community by fighting crime.  

However, it's only minutes into the movie when a rescue attempt gone wrong forces Bob out of his super hero gig. 

Still, Bob has a wife and kids.  And bills have to get paid. Bob takes a job with an insurance company. It's clear that what made him great at being a superhero wouldn't make him a great insurance agent. 

Can anyone relate to Bob Parr? 

You know you were made to do one thing. However, either responsibilities or circumstances of life force you to do something else. 

Don't get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an insurance agent ... unless you weren't made to be an insurance agent. 

I remember talking to a friend about this topic. He described his Bob Parr situation using a boat illustration. The yacht represented the security of his current job, and his dreams were represented by a raft. In my friend's analogy, he spent every free moment on the yacht trying to make the raft secure enough for him to launch out off of the yacht without drowning. 

Maybe that illustrations resonates with you. How do we balance between dreaming big and handling responsibilities? How long should you sell insurance if you were made to be a superhero? 

This is something me - and a group of my peers - are currently working through. One exercise, recommended to me by a friend, was extremely helpful. I'd encourage you all to try it as well. 

  • First, make a list of life-giving passions in a job. Think of it as things you love to do so much that it doesn't even feel like work. Try to come up with four of five things. 
  • Second, think of any restrictions. For me, those restrictions include geography and ethics. I won't move just anywhere with a wife and kids, and I don't want to work a job where I feel like I have to compromise my ethics. 
  • Third, think of limitations. I'd love to do a job with a bunch of things on my list of passions, but I need to make this much money to take care of my responsibilities.  Even if the job was a dream job, I'd have to say no if I couldn't feed my kids. 
After working through this list, I had a pretty good idea which jobs best fit me. The friend who introduced me to this exercise wrote a really good book about this, and when it's actually released, I will tell you more about it. 

In the meantime, a good resource if the book I recommended in part one of this two-part blog.  The book is called What Color is Your Parachute? The book helps you ask yourself a bunch of critical questions, which enable you to determine how you would truly define success. The parachute book then helps you map out a path to your goals. 

I write these blogs as conversation starters. I would love to hear from you. What is your dream job? What is stopping you from pursuing your dream job? 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The LeBron "Decision" We Must All Make (Part 1 of 2)

"Can I succeed in my hometown?"

This is a question we know LeBron James has wrestled through at least twice, as evidenced in his journey from Cleveland to Miami and ultimately back to Cleveland. 

In fact, the most criticism the NBA's most famous and physically gifted player has faced was for the "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" comment and everything that ensued afterward.

That was a mess! 

However, most has been forgiven after 'Bron returned to help the Cavs try for a championship that has eluded the city since the legendary Jim Brown was in the backfield for the Cleveland Browns. 

I can sort of relate to LeBron. 

Not with the  fame, finances, championships or basketball skills. (Maybe the hairline.)

But with the question. 

Can I succeed in my hometown? 

Like LeBron, I love my hometown. I'm as thankful to have grown up in Staunton as he is to have grown up in Akron. Like LeBron, I have dozens of ideas to leave my city better than I found it. And, just like Cleveland isn't exactly known for winning championships, my city isn't known for a lot of the things I want to achieve. 

This is what brought LeBron - as well as me and countless others - to the point of decision. 

"Should I be a pioneer in my hometown? Or should I just move wherever I need to move to make sure the dream gets achieved?" 

Although I once had dreams of sports achievements, my passion now is more theological. I want to be part of a gospel-preaching, multicultural church. I want to work with urban kids through a faith-based initiative. I want to write a few more books, and I want to create a sports, faith and culture podcast. 

And ...  I want to feed my kids and pay the mortgage. 

Do I have to "take my talents to South Beach?" 

Or do I try to pioneer those things here? 

Ordinarily, this is the part of the blog where you give five points, but this is something I'm still figuring out myself.  In addition to praying about it a lot, I've also been helped greatly by a book, What Color is Your Parachute, given to me by a friend at church. 

The book helps you ask yourself a bunch of critical questions which enable you to determine how you really define success. The book also helps you outline a map to achieve career goals. 

I write these blogs as conversation-starters. I would love to know how you've wrestled through moving or staying to find success. I also want to know what you've read that has been helpful to you in figuring out your career path. 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Monday, July 20, 2015

An open letter to churches in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County

Dear local churches in the Valley, 

For the past two years, much of the narrative in America has centered around race. From Trayvon Martin to Sandra Bland, it's been a constant theme in our news media. With the rest of the nation talking about it, I figured we should, too. 

First, please know I am with you on this. I love the church. I am passionate about Christ and His bride.  I've given my life to serve her with my time, talents and treasures. I agree with pastor Art Azurdia when he says, "Any quarrel I have with the local church must be a lover's quarrel." (P.S. The entire sermon, embedded below, is worth the listen) 

We've inherited a problem. Most pastors under the age of 60 more than likely attended integrated schools. Yet, our churches remain largely segregated. The message it sends to both our Savior and a watching world is unmistakable. 

Our color trumps our cross. 

To any person in our community who has trusted Christ alone for reconciliation to God, this should be hard to read. But here's the problem with inherited problems. It's easy to not feel the responsibility for fixing it. 

We can say things like: 

"It was like this when I got here."
"There's no way to undo what's done." 

Here's why this is problematic. As our culture tries to figure out race relations, we can't lead the way with the gospel.  

Thus, the dilemma. To Christ, this is grievous. But to us, the divide has grown comfortable. Certainly more comfortable than the thought of trying to integrate. Even for those who recognize this as a huge problem, the problem can seem so insurmountable that we just throw up our hands and don't do anything. 

As a father of five, I'm pleading with my generation to begin at least taking baby steps toward reconciliation, and not put this all on the shoulders of my kids and their generation. 

What steps can we take? 

Here are seven thoughts.  

1. We can repent. Individually and corporately, we can acknowledge that we haven't pushed against the idea of "white church" and "black church," when scripture would only support the idea of Christ's church. 

2. Read scripture. Let's be honest. It would be hard to imagine Paul condoning "white church" and "black church" if he didn't give a  "Jew church" and "Gentile church" option to the church in Rome.   

3. Pray together. We all have our theological and doctrinal distinctives. However, one thing we should be able to do together is to call out to our God to heal our church together in this area. 

4. Read books by authors with hearts for reconciliation. Oneness Embraced by Dr. Tony Evans might be a great starting place. (Watch the last two minutes of this video if you don't have time for the whole thing!) 

5. Lay down our preferences at the foot of the cross. This could be a whole book in itself. The principle is don't let our pragmatics - "how would we do music?" - outweigh our theology. What does a racially divided church say about our gospel? 

6. Have conversations cross culturally.  If all of us today were thrown into a congregation that was 50 percent black and 50 percent white, we'd have some emotions to work through. And that's OK. 

My guess is one of the greatest fears would be the idea of racially reconciled churches producing more interracial marriages, and other situations that are similar. These are real emotions that people have and need to work through. As believers, it seems like the gospel would have us engage in hard conversations and extend grace rather than to remain separated and avoid the awkwardness. 

Side note: If your cross cultural friendships can only hold surface conversations, but can't discuss what happened in Ferguson and South Carolina, you have every right to question the depth of that friendship. We need friendships that can discuss and even disagree freely without having to worry about jeopardizing the friendship. 

7. Plant new churches with gospel-centered racial reconciliation in mind. I am encouraged to see several churches in our community planting new churches in hopes to reach more people. Reversing course on centuries of racial division in existing churches is difficult but doable by God's grace, but churches that begin with the idea of a multicultural staff and gospel-centered reconciliation won't have anything to undo. 

Two quick notes: First, if there is any way I can serve Bible-believing, gospel-proclaiming churches in our community with this topic, please reach out to me ( I don't want to just blog about it and not roll my sleeves up. 

Second, I hope this can help us all  to have healthy, Christ-honoring dialogue. I'm inviting all discussion that has the end goal of more Christ-likeness for the church . I'm asking that anyone who just wants to argue race to kindly do that some place else. 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Telijah's guest blog: Back to the Bahamas

Help me go back to the Bahamas this summer with Young Life Expeditions! 

Dear friends and family, 

Last year I had the opportunity to go to Young Life camp in Eleuthera, Bahamas with my family. I got to hang out with Bahamian teenagers, help illustrate the gospel, and visit some beautiful beaches while I was there. 

It was the first time I had ever been out of the country, and I am so thankful for the people who donated money so our family could go. My parents were the camp speakers last year, so my siblings and I got to tag along as a vacation, and I didn't really have to help out as much as people who go to run the camp. 

This year, I am actually going back to serve with Young Life as work crew. My parents will be the camp speakers again this year, but as work crew, I will be staying apart from them, and I will be doing things that they are not expected to do. Instead of just going and hanging out with the kids, I will also be helping serve meals, cleaning up, and helping to run the camp. While I will still have the chance to relax and hang out with some amazing teenagers, I will be expected to do more work so that camp runs smoothly. 

In order for me to go, I need to raise $1,700 by June 15th. This means I need people who are willing to sponsor me. Will you consider helping me as I set out to help Bahamian teenagers have the best week of their lives?  

You can donate online here

Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Things I Learned Running a 5K

It started as a simple conversation at lunch. 

When my cousin Kendrick told me that a portion of the proceeds from the Larner 5k would benefit Brayden Kier (you can read Brayden's story and support him here), I told him my cousin I would to the 5k with him. 

With my pledge to participate secured, my cousin took the challenge up a notch. 

"Let's not just do it. Let's run the 5k!"

"Huh? Me? Run?" 

I couldn't remember the last time I had ran a mile, let alone three. However, I agreed to run with my cousin. That began a four-month journey for me getting off my couch and getting ready for a 5k race. 

Here are five things I learned in the four months where I went from couch to 5k. 

1. I. Hate. Running.  

2.  Distance running is a great metaphor for life. A 5k is just over a three miles. My first day in training, I could barely do a half-mile. And as bad as I felt, I felt even worse the next morning. Midway through the training, I started suffering from "Runner's Heel." 

I see so many parallels to life in this. There are things I want to do that seem too hard to start, or once I have started them the obstacles in front of me seemed too challenging to overcome. Whether it's running a 5k or life circumstances, you have to keep pressing on, even if it's with a limp!

3. You need people in your life that challenge you to do better. I would probably still be on my couch if it wasn't for my cousin Kendrick. His simple challenge, "Let's run the 5K!" was all of the motivation I needed to get off the couch. 

Every time I'm around Kendrick, my dreams get re-fueled. It makes me want to be around him more, and it makes me want to be that person who challenges and encourages the people around me to reach new heights. 

4.  I need goals. I probably won't keep running (refer to point No. 1), but I will no longer go to the Y, lift a few weights, and leave. Before the 5k, any old routine I did at the Y was good enough. 

I rarely challenged myself on go up in weight, get in better shape or improve. It wasn't quite wasting time, but it was close. It felt so much better to push myself to higher heights that I could never go back to underachieving. 

5. Things that you sacrifice for are more rewarding. I'm more of a (semi-retired) basketball player than a runner. Running didn't come naturally, and my miles were basically 10-minute splits. In other words, not fast. I may have gotten lapped by a speedwalker or two. 

However, I went from not being able to stand up after a half mile to running a 5k easily in a matter of months. It was worth every hour I invested in training to feel that type of reward. 

I write these blogs to encourage discussion. What is one goal you have for yourself? How will you achieve it? Who in your life most encourages you and challenges you to grow? 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Friday, March 27, 2015

3 Things Being a Point Guard Taught Me

I love March Madness. 

I like sports, but I love basketball. I was fortunate to play for Robert E. Lee High School under hall of fame coach Paul Hatcher. 

After high school, I had the opportunity to play four years at Shenandoah University. 

It's been well over a decade since I've played competitively, but I've learned that point guards really never stop being point guards. Here are three lessons I've learned from the point guard position that have helped me in the "game" of life. 

1. Success comes with sacrifice. Growing up, I literally ate, slept and breathed basketball. Reaching my potential as a basketball player meant saying yes to lots of hours in the weight room and in the gym. It also meant saying no to things like soda and television. Every decision on how to use my time and resources was filtered through whether it aided to worked against me reaching my goal.  As I've gone through life, I realize that everything worth succeeding at follows this formula. 

2. The best leaders are the ones people willingly follow. There's a huge difference between the leaders people follow because they "have" to follow and the leaders people follow because they "want" to follow. As the point guard, I was trying to make sure I was someone my teammates wanted to follow. That meant being first to the gym and last to leave. Most importantly, it meant never doing anything that put myself before the team, which usually meant I willingly made the most sacrifices to make sure the team flourished. That philosophy has helped as a husband, father, employee and a Young Life leader. 

3. An assist is better than a score. This is the true magic of the point guard position. You learn that setting up others for success feels better than achieving that success yourself. Every pass that set up a teammate's basket was a chance for me to say, "I care more about your success and our team's success than my stats." An unselfish point guard can set the tone for everyone else to follow in his or her footsteps. This realization has also served me well in family life, ministry and at my places of employment. 

I would love to hear from you. What's the biggest life lesson you ever learned from sports? 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Monday, March 23, 2015

Summer Road to Chicago Anyone?

Save the dates: July 23-25

Planes, trains or automobiles? 

The question isn't whether you should come with me to the Legacy Conference in 2015  - (read my blog here on why I go every year) - it's how we should get there. 

Kyle Bumgarner, one of my really good friends and a co-laborer in a campus ministry called Young Life, is prayerfully planning on going to Legacy this year with me. As we begin planning out the trip, I thought I'd see if either Kyle or I knew others who would want to go to Moody Bible Institute for three days this summer. 

If it's just Kyle and me, we may plan to travel one way. Perhaps by plane. If we each had two friends that wanted to go, we might plan the trip another way. 

As you decide, here are a few things you can know. 
  • You can stay in the Moody Bible Institute dorms for pretty cheap. 
  • You can eat most meals at the Moody Bible Institute cafeteria for pretty cheap.
  • You can sign up for the conference for pretty cheap. 
  • The theological depth (listen to one gen. session here) is amazing. 
  • It's worth every dollar you spend. 
  • You need try deep dish pizza and other Chicago foods at least once. 
  • I snore. 

If you have any interest in going, please let me know. Also, follow @LegacyDisciple on Twitter for more info. on the conference. 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dear Scott Hamilton

Dear Scott, 

Sometimes as a writer you feel something so strongly that you have to write about it. Even if you want to write about other things, your mind and your heart keep steering you in another direction. Sometimes things demand to be written. I feel like this was one of those things. 

I was trying to think about why the news of your current health circumstances was hitting me so hard emotionally. 

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the reasons were all things I wish I would have told you personally a long time ago. I think the core of those sentiments can be summed up in two words. 

Thank you! 

First, thanks for constantly encouraging me not to waste my life. You are not the only person who has taught me to live with eternity in mind. John Piper has written books about it. LeCrae has rapped about it.  

But they did it from a distance. They are not people I know personally. You looked us in our eyes and told us live a life that matters for the gospel. And just so you know, I listened. And even when I would lose focus, there would be some place where our paths crossed. You would begin to talk about ministry, teenagers and eternal hope. 

You'd choke on your words. And you'd tear up. And I'd remember. 

I needed every one of those reminders to live in light of eternity. Thanks for encouraging me to give my life away rather than waste it. 

Second, thanks for sending me out to Bermuda. And then the Bahamas. I always thought you were playing pranks when you called me and told me to go to these places. I feel alive - not just breathing but really alive - whenever I am helping urban kids process the gospel. I know that is what I was meant to do. 

I'm not even on Young Life staff, but you've entrusted me to take the gospel to two different islands. And those trips are some of my family's most cherished memories. 

And, finally, you have watched me struggle through seasons of trying to be family man, financial provider for a large family and a volunteer Young Life leader. On more times than I can count on one hand, you've gone out of our your way to help financially. You know what I'm talking about.

I just wanted to communicate to you how much I look up to you. If you've taught us in the Young Life Commonwealth Region anything, it's to pray. And then pray. And then pray some more. And we count it our privilege to pray for you now. 

Get well soon! 

We're praying! 

In Christ

Chris Lassiter. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Mom's Dream ... And What You Can Do To Help

Calling my mom ambitious would be an understatement! 

Growing up, my mom would occasionally stay up late at night just to surpass all of our high scores on Frogger. Yep, she's that competitive. However, most of her ambition was saved for more serious things such as education. 

That hasn't changed. 

After teaching for decades in Staunton City Schools, my mother started a school called King's Academy.  The school, which is grades k-5, has existed for five years, and it's currently where my youngest three kids go to school. 

At the end of this school year, the school will be undergoing significant changes. 

My mother is looking for: 
  • churches that would support that vision
  • financial donors for the school 
  • people who would serve in a support and advisory role to the school
  • a possible location change 
  • students interested in enrolling in the school

For more information, please e-mail me at or call me at 540-569-0270. 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

So ... When are We going to start Talking about Sex

"Sex is the cure. Sex is the problem." - one person's journal entry. 

Haven't blogged in a while. Other writing assignments have had me busy. However, two things have had me thinking about sex a lot lately (not that guys need any help in thinking about sex a lot). 

The first is obviously everyone is sharing their opinion on the book-turned-movie 50 Shades of Grey.  The second, coincidentally, is a book I just finished reading called God Loves Sex

The book is an exposition of the Song of Songs in the Bible. The plot is wrapped around a fictional Bible study group. It's co-written by counselor Dan B. Allender and Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III.  

By way of application, the book has some points on masturbation and boundaries in dating that I would think need further explanation, but it's a book worth wrestling through. 

One of the main points in the book is the graphically erotic nature of the poetry found in the Song of Songs. When the man speak of his lover's "garden," he is not speaking of vegetables. And she speaks of his "member," she's not encouraging him to join a club. Yep, the book is that graphic. 

Here's where I'll put all my cards on the table. I'm not a church-basher. Never will be. I agree with pastor Art Azurdia when he said "Any problem I have with the church must be a lovers' quarrel." 

But here's the disconnect. How can the Bible be so graphic about a subject - a very important subject - and we as the church be so silent about it?  

One of the arguments of the book is that we've created a false holiness that doesn't factor in from the time we are born that we are sexual beings.  As Christians, we are sexual beings and God's holy people. And, as the book argues, this is not an either-or scenario. We are both. To discount either is to error biblically. 

Here are three devastating effects of the church's silence on the beauty and greatness of sex. 

1. God goes from the creator of sexuality to the killjoy of sexuality. If the Bible is to be believed - and I believe it - then God is the author of sex. God is a great gift-giver. But our silence about God's delight in creating us sexual beings has opened the door for Him to be portrayed as the enemy of sexual fulfillment. 

Many people reject the God of the Bible. That's sad to me. However, what is even sadder is when people think they are rejecting the God of the Bible based on false notions of the God of the Bible. One of these notions- that God is the killjoy and not the creator of sex - is the most frequent that I hear. 

2. Everyone keeps their sexual struggles in the dark. And we ALL have sexual struggles. I've heard some of my friends say they felt liberated sexually when they left the church. I understand part of this means that they were free to pursue sexuality on their own terms, but part of it also means that they were finally free to talk and dialogue and struggle. 

This freedom to talk and dialogue and struggle should happen inside of the church. I'm saddened by the thought of how much hurt has occurred by people feeling like the church isn't a safe place to discuss sexuality. I would love to hear my friends says they felt liberated sexually inside the church. 

3. Our faith doesn't seem to address real life issues. Think of the irony. Sex is God's idea, yet Christians are often pictured as prudish, embarrassed by sex or restricted sexually. If anyone should be leading discussions on sex - and enjoying sex - it should be the people who say their God created it. 

Many churches are already getting this right. My prayer is to see an increasing number join them. We need churches that preach the gospel consistently, that Christ alone is our only hope of salvation. Our merit before God is not based on anything else, including our sexual purity. 

And we need those churches, by way of application, to be safe places for people to wrestle through what it means to be both a sexual being and part of God's holy people. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the whole topic of sexuality and the church or sexuality as depicted in 50 Shades of Grey

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why You MUST Come by Opportunity Knocks This Saturday

For all of my flaws, one thing that can be said truly of me is that I love the kids in this community. 

Over the past two years, I've had the great privilege of sitting around a table on "the new wing" of Robert E. Lee High's first floor with a group of dreamers. 

The goal of those meetings? Figuring out how to give ALL of the students in Staunton City Schools the tools they need to flourish both now and in the future. It's been fun, and it's been challenging. The best part is being surrounded by people that share my passion to see young people in this community succeed and flourish. 

My favorite part of this diverse group - which is made up of teachers, administrators, counselors, concerned citizens and even recent Lee grads - is that they don't just dream. They take action steps! 

The Opportunity Knocks Fair at Booker T. Washington this Saturday is one such action step. 

The event, which is for entire families, is set up to show Staunton City School families many of the opportunities available in this community. (Read last year's News Leader article of the event here. )  

Here's a quote from the actual flyer of the event. 

RE Lee is partnering with local businesses,
in-demand industries, churches, community
colleges, and technical schools to
provide current and future Staunton City
School students and their families with a
variety of information and lots of fun!
Opportunity is Knocking... 

The fair provides amazing food catered from several local restaurants that caught a vision for Opportunity Knocks. Transportation can even be provided as well (call 540-332-3926 by Friday at 3 p.m. if you need a ride). 

With free food, free transportation, tons of door prizes and give-aways, as well as tools to help families improve their present and their future situations, there's no reason not to come. 

WHO: A group of people that love Staunton City School kids a whole lot
WHAT: Opportunity Knocks
WHEN: 1 -4 p.m., Saturday, January 17 
WHERE: Booker T. Washington Community Center, 1114 West Johnson Street
WHY: Because we love this community and want to see it flouish
COST: Free 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Watching a good friend's dream come true: My man Black Boo.

One of my college teammates - as well as one of my favorite people - has a chance to do something amazing. 


And we have a chance to help him do it! 

Black Boo, aka Alfred the MC, was a teammate of mine at Shenandoah University. He's featured as an artist on an album that has been nominated for a Grammy.  

One of his own band Mambo Sauce's most most recognizable songs, Welcome to D.C.,  has been a hit among the professional hockey, football and basketball teams in the nation's capital. ( Watch video to that song above). 

Anybody who knows me at all has literally heard me tell thousands of stories about my college days, and that's because I sincerely love my old teammates and the group of friends I met at Shenandoah. 

Black, left, me and Last Born  at my wedding
I could entertain you for an entire day with stories of Black Boo, including the times that: 
  • He ordered everything on the menu when our professor took us to dinner.
  • He and Last Born started a hip-hop cypha on our tour of ABC News in New York. 
  • He decided to take out his cornrows in the warm-up line at VMI
  • He freestyled an oral presentation on the Pacific Rim. 
  • He challenged an opposing player to a game of one-on-one ... and was serious! 
And none of these would come close to cracking the top 10 funniest things he did at college. 

But Black didn't just provide entertainment. He also provided inspiration. He dreamed of being a musician when we were in college. Now he's got a chance to experience the Grammys. 

The Grammy organization covers the cost for the actual band, but Black can go if he pays his own way since he's a contributor to the Grammy-nominated album recorded by the reggae group Soja. 

And that's where we have a chance to help

Black is trying to raise $2,500. I would love  for everyone who reads this and has any ties to Shenandoah University to give $10. For Black's old teammates, I want to challenge us to give at least $25.  We have a chance to help one of our boys watch his dream come true.  Visit his GoFundMe page here. 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Resolution Worth Keeping ... Tips on Going Through the New Testament in a year.

Resolutions don't have to fail! 

Because many resolutions are just wishful thinking with no action plans, many people have become cynical of them. Not me. I love them. I love setting goals for a specific time period and trying to see those goals through to the end. In fact, one of my resolutions is to have more - and complete more - resolutions! 

At the beginning of this year, I asked my friends at church and on social media if anyone would be interested in reading through the New Testament in a year. The plan requires about 5-10 minutes a day, five days a week (view plan here). In other words, it's doable. 

Here are five more tips for making it all the way to the end of Revelation in 2015. 

1. Be accountable to another person or group. Spiritual fitness has a lot in common with physical fitness. Both are easier when someone is holding you accountable. In his book The Explicit Gospel,  author and pastor Matt Chandler observes that "people do not drift toward holiness." We all need to be pushed, and we all need to help push others. 

2. Find a routine that works for you. It's simpler if you find the same time each and every day. Maybe it's first thing in the morning. Maybe it's on lunch break. Or perhaps it's the bathroom. The time you spend on the toilet each year, for example, is enough time to read through the New Testament. Crazy, right? 

3. Use technology. The ESV Bible Study App ($14.99) will actually read the chapter aloud  to you. There's probably a free app out there that will do the same. If you have a daily commute, make your first five minutes the audio of the New Testament  reading for that day. 

4. Reward yourself weekly, monthly and annually for setting this goal and achieving it. I'm hoping to do this with my five kids on the morning commute to school, and we'll try to reward them greatly on a regular basis. 

5. Give yourself grace when you miss a day. Sooner or later, it's bound to happen. And it's OK. Just don't let a bad day or a bad week throw you off. 

One final thought. We don't read the Bible to get God to like us more. The good news of the gospel is that we are worse than we could ever believe, but more loved than we could ever imagine. Christ secures our right standing before God, not a Bible-reading plan. We don't read to get God to like us more. We read to know Him more. 

It's not to late to join our group. We have a Facebook group if you need accountability or just have questions about what you have read. 

And, of course, I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your resolutions for 2015? How do you track your goals? 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships,, and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here