Why I wrote a book

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Enter for win BoxAnd1Podcast Give-Away

The Box And 1 Podcast is currently running a give-away in which one person will a pair of HD headphones, two urban theology books and a signed copy of Andrew Russell’s I Am That I am EP.

The promotion, which is being run through rafflecopter.com, begins Wednesday, November 23 and runs for two weeks through Dec. 6. There are multiple ways to enter the contest through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

More information can be found on thecrosspromotion.blogspot.com and the Box And 1 Podcast fan page of Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by friends John C Richards, Jr. Jeremy Hartman and Chris Lassiter, The Box And 1 Podcast discusses sports, current events and urban culture through the lens of the gospel.  
Richards, the managing director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, has practiced law and served in vocational ministry. Author of the book The Tenacity of Hope – one of the books offered in the give-away - Richards has degrees from Morehouse College, Howard University School of Law and Fuller Theological Seminary.

Hartman (hartmanbasketball.com) is a basketball trainer. He coached a high school girls’ basketball team to a state championship in 2012. Hartman has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Scranton.

Author of the book You’re Grounded and the forthcoming book Grits and the Grimels, Lassiter worked bi-vocationally as a sports reporter and a campus ministry leader.

Hartman and Lassiter were basketball teammates at a small Division III school in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The two, who both live in Staunton, VA, remained close friends after their Shenandoah University hoops careers.


The Box And 1 Podcast is available on the johnrichardsjr.com Website and in iTunes. The Twitter and Instagram accounts for the podcast can be found at @boxand1podcast. For interviews or further info., contact Chris Lassiter at 540-569-0270 or by e-mail at chrislassiter540@gmail.com

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, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications in 2013. You can order the book here.  His first kids' book, Grits & the Grimels, comes out soon. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

We started a Podcast

At the beginning of 2016, I sent two of my friends an e-mail. 

I was making my resolutions - because I love resolutions - and I invited them to dream with me. 

Let's create a podcast that replicates the environment of the neigbhorhood barber shop. Mix in story topics from sports and urban culture. Talk about imporant stuff. Talk about funny stuff. And, most importantly, have those conversations shaped by the gospel. 
For a few days, we tossed around ideas. 

Then, nothing. 

For the next three months, no podcast talk. 

Out of the blue, John Richards texted me that he was willing to give it a try. I knew John, aka J-Rich, from The Legacy Conference (a conference I would recommend to everyone), and we had stayed in touch ever since. (Click on John's name and read up on him. He's a super funny guy, a great encouragement and one of the sharpest young theologians I know). 

My homeboy Jeremy Hartman (J-Hart), who was my college basketball teammate at Shenandoah University, agreed to give podcasting a try, too. (Click on Jeremy's name to read about his passion for basketball as a teaching tool for all of life). 

In fact, J-Hart and I did a trial podcast around two years ago. Both J-Hart and I are well under 6-foot tall. Another one of our former teammates, the funniest guy on our squad, suggested we call our podcast "Small Talk." Really funny, Ahmed. 

Once we had our new podcasting team established, we just needed a name. J Rich is tall, so  "Small Talk" wouldn't work (Thanks for trying though, Ahmed). We came up with a bunch of good names, but The Box and 1 Podcast just seemed to stick. 



Right now, we're in the infancy stages. Nine episodes deep in a weekly podcast. We have a budget of zero, no advertisers and the most basic of recording equipment. What we do have, however, is humor, ambition, good chemistry and a conviction to help people see things through a gospel lens. Check out the Box And 1 Podcast here or on iTunes and let us know what you think. 

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, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications in 2013. You can order the book here.  His first kids' book, Grits & the Grimels, comes out soon.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Four Things Christians Can Learn From Baseball's Integration


One Christian journalist referred to it as “The only Oreo crumb in the cup of milk.”



The Oreo crumb phrase is in reference to being the only black person in a room full of white people. And, during my time in church and in campus ministry, this has been a regular occurrence for me. 

On the one hand, it's not that big of deal. What we have in common - the cross of Christ - is so much greater than our skin color that distinguishes us. 

On the other hand, it can be awkward. 

And confusing. 

And uncomfortable. 

Sort of like how 1947 was uncomfortable for Jackie Robinson. 

On April 15, 1947, Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball,  in large part due to a visionary named Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who helped pave the way for Robinson.

When the MLB honors Robinson on April 15 this year, roughly 10 percent of the players in the league will be black. The sport is now so integrated that the Negro Baseball League ceases to exist.

But how did they get there?

And what can churches and campus ministries learn from baseball's integration? 

I can think of at least four things. 



1. Branch Rickey thought things could change. When no one could imagine one united major league baseball system, Rickey could. I love Rickey's quote. “I may not be able to do something about racism in every field, but I can do something about it baseball.”

We may be not be able to stop all racial division in the body of Christ, but perhaps like Rickey we can change it in our particular sphere of influence. 

2.      Branch Rickey invested in multicultural friendships that were deep enough to shape his convictions. One can only wonder how much of Rickey’s convictions came from befriending his one-time teammate Charles Follis, the first black professional football player. Rickey's front row seat to Follis' sub-human treatment created empathy and sympathy in him. 

Here's a tough question. Do we have multicultural friendships so deeply rooted that they help shape our life convictions? If not, can we really expect the dynamics of the room to change? And what are we willing to do if those answers are no?

3. Branch Rickey went scouting the Negro Baseball Leagues.  The Boston Red Sox brought in Jackie Robinson first as a politically correct gesture,  but Rickey actually went to the Negro League games in order to find a baseball player that could help integrate baseball. 

Rickey had a team of scouts that watched the Negro League players. In other words, he entered another culture and then invited someone from another culture (Robinson) to come integrate baseball.  

He invested time, money, talent scouts and resources into it, and he was willing to go where it was culturally uncomfortable. If we're not willing to make make similar sacrifices, we're really just paying the idea of a gospel-centered diversity a lip service. 

4.  Rickey was willing to upset the status quo. Jackie Robinson was as vilified in 1947 as he is idolized in 2016. The Negro Leagues didn't like losing Robinson as a player, and so no one was on board with it initially. Rickey knew this would happen. And he knew it would take a player with both Robinson's talent and vision to pioneer the way for other blacks.

Let's be honest. When areas diversify, it creates a whole new set of problems. You have to think through a whole set of cultural questions that you don’t have to think through in homogeneous settings. 

The question then becomes: is it worth it? Is having integrated churches and campus ministries more God-glorifying, Christ-exalting and more consistent with "on earth as it is in Heaven?"

In 2016, we'd find the idea of segregated baseball repulsive. I'm hoping we will find the idea of the church being segregated equally repulsive.  That goes for campus ministries, too.

Do we really want to see multicultural expressions of the body of Christ in our churches and campus ministries?  Would we really love to see it "on earth as it is heaven?" Or are we content with "on earth as it was in the Jim Crow South?" 

As the world remembers Jackie Robinson, let's let his example remind the body of Christ that what has been isn't what always has to be. 


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, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications in 2013. You can order the book here.  His first kids' book, Grits & the Grimels, comes out this spring. 


Saturday, January 23, 2016

The First Book You Should Read in 2016


Jay Hawkins wrote a great book.





If you want to find out what you are truly passionate about, get this book. 

If you don't want to waste your life, get this book. 

If you need a great recommendation for your 2016 reading list, get this book. 

If the name Jay Hawkins sounds familiar to you, it's because he's the local operator of the Chick-fil-A in Waynesboro. I've been a journalist for over a decade, but when I met Jay, he was the one asking the questions. 

And Jay asked great questions. 

Questions that forced me to ponder answers for hours. 

When he first told me he was writing a book, I was a bit  nervous. By this point in our relationship, I knew Jay had a brilliant mind. But what if his writing genius didn't quite match his business genius? That would be a weird conversation to have in the beginning of a friendship. 

Fortunately, that wasn't the case. 

The Pando Principle is a really good quick read. I've read it twice, and I purchased one for my boss and another for my best friend. 

The book follows a man named Charlie Burns as he watches his father struggle with the idea of retirement. Charlie begins asking himself if he will follow the same path - work a job he didn't love until he was retirement age - or find a different option.

With help from the least likeliest of sources, Charlie starts on a journey. Everything Charlie learns on his journey is sure to help you on your own personal journey. 

If you get The Pando Principle, let me know. I would love to have a book discussion with a group of people who have read the book. There are also resources at thepandoprinciple.com that will help you process what you read. 

I write these blogs as conversation starters. What books are on your 2016 reading list? What is something in your life you want to change in 2016? 

Blogger's note: This was an unsolicited book review. I purchased the book myself, and I did not receive any financial compensation for this review.



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, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications in 2013. You can order the book here.  His first kids' book, Grits & the Grimels, comes out this spring.