Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Today was one of those days that I will not soon forget. I left church today to pick up some letters from the Post Office. As I began to turn left onto West 7th, out of the corner of my eye I could see a car coming at me and I knew in that instant I was going to be hit. It seemed that everything was slowing down and yet in that instant I realized how powerless I was. I could do nothing to stop the car and I could  do nothing to protect myself. 

After being hit, I just sat in the car stunned and dazed. My head began to hurt and I was very dizzy. This amazing lady jumped out of her car and told the person that hit me not to leave and then came to my car and told me that she had called the police and that I was going to be okay. I called Kat and said, "I was in a car accident but I will be okay." Soon, the EMT's showed up and told me that they were going to have to cut me out of the car. The awesome EMT joked with me and kept me calm while the Fire Department busted the windows out and cut my door off my car. After that, I was taken out of my car and placed on a stretcher and taken to Maury Regional Medical Center. 

Thankfully, the doctor checked me out and ordered x-rays but I walked away from a high speed side impact crash with not a scratch. My car is most likely totaled but to have been t-boned and not have even a cut much less a broken bone is a miracle. 

This is one of those events where we say things and we don't understand what we are saying. I kept saying I don't know how I am okay. But the truth is, I know exactly why I am okay. Jesus Christ protected me today. Jesse Shuster, our worship pastor said Satan must have been wanting you not to speak this Sunday but God does. Thankful to be on the side of God. 

It just goes to confirm in me that God has great plans for the Spring Hill Church Plant because I am sharing the vision for this plant on Sunday. I will be there no matter how sore I am. 

I also want to take time to thank those that have been extra awesome today. 

I am thankful for Jesus Christ who took care of me. I am thankful for the EMT's from Maury Regional Medical Center, the Columbia Fire Department, Columbia Police Department and the staff at Maury Regional. I am thankful for amazing friends like Lisa Whitten and Julie Webster that came to the scene of the accident to make sure I was okay. I am thankful to Fred Garrow, Jesse Shuster, Derek Whitten, Shane Hunter, Braxton Hunter, Linda Hunter, Ed Motzny, Jim Adkins, Abigail Adkins, James Robert Adkins, BJ Bolton, Sue Purvis, Larry Purvis, Sarah Hoelscher, and Keri Huffstutler for visiting me at the hospital. I am thankful for my amazing wife that came to my side and has taken great care of me. I am also thankful for my mother-in-law that cared for my precious children while Kat took care of me. 
Finally, I am thankful for my friends, family and church that prayed for me. 

Kat and I feel loved and blessed by an amazing God and amazing people all around us. 


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sticks and Stones

We have all heard the adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. " Whoever made that statement was a liar. Glad that me calling them a liar will not hurt them because it's only a word.

The damage inflicted by words lasts longer than broken bones. I know this from personal experience. Over the course of my life, I have suffered the blow of several words my way. From elementary school and being bullied to high school and not being the cool kid, I have had many words leveled at me that caused deep wounds that still surface from time to time.

Those hurting words did not stop when I became an adult. You read the love passage from 1 Corinthians and you assume that we put away childish things but it seems that many people continue to behave in childish ways by using words as weapons. My skin has toughened even more working for the church. It seems that everyone is passionate about their opinions about how church should look, act and feel. With my new venture into the world of church planting, I think that my life of hard knocks within the church will help me be able to handle future criticism. I have found that I do not mind criticism as much when someone speaks directly to me about it but it seems much harder to swallow when it is whispered in halls and behind backs and without the courage to share face-to-face.

Learning lessons of how to remain humble in the face of negativity,


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Adoption on my Heart

As I returned home tonight, I put on a shirt to wear to bed. I happened to pick the adoption shirt that we had made to help us raise money for our adoption. The act of putting the shirt on caused me ponder on some of my thoughts. From time to time, I wonder if we will enlarge our family in the future. I sometimes wonder if Bennett and Celia's biological mother will have more children? I wonder if we will adopt other children from a different country or if we will return to Russia? 

God did something to my heart when he called for us to adopt. He took the desire to have biological children from me. I feel bad making this next statement because I have friends that are praying very hard to get pregnant, but I pray that Kat and I do not get pregnant. I pray that God's will for our life is to continue to adopt.  There are orphans all around this world that need parents and I hope that we get to bring more of them home. 

Praying for my friends Derek and Kristy Whitten. They are adopting two older girls from Africa and they are in the home stretch of bringing them home. I can't wait to see the Whitten family expand through the miracle of adoption. I can't wait to meet Bethany and Katie for the first time. 


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Morning Ritual

Since Kat and I had been out of our routine for the past several weeks, we had not been able to complete our normal Saturday morning ritual, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse. It was so nice to walk through the doors this morning and be instantly filled with the smells of fresh biscuits and bacon. However, it is more than the food at Marcy Jo’s, its the people.  
At Marcy Jo’s, one of the owners Marcy always makes my family feel special. My daughter loves her and always yells Marcy Jo when she sees her. 
Many people go to Marcy Jo's because the other owner of Marcy Jo's is Joey from the famous country duet group Rory and Joey. We love them too but we go because the food is amazing and the staff makes people feel at home. If you have not had a chance to try Marcy Jo’s, make sure and check it out especially on a Saturday. Tell them the Hunters sent you. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Worth Fighting For

Recently, Kat and I watched the movie Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman. I am pretty sure that Kat agreed to watch the movie because he was in it. Either way, we both loved the movie and by the end of the movie we were both sitting on the edge of our seats cheering on this fighting robot as tears streamed down our cheeks. I know, I know. Big surprise that I was crying but truly this movie gripped your heart and it caused me to reflect about the type of father I want to be. 
In the movie, Charlie (Hugh Jackman) was a dead beat dad that tries to make some money off of his kid because the kid’s mother has died and the aunt wants custody. Needless to say, there was a tumultuous relationship between Charlie and his son. During a scene late in the movie after Charlie and his son have started to bond, Charlie asks his son what do you want from me? The son, Max responds by saying, “I just want you to fight for me.” 
As I look at broken families all over our country, I see kids just wanting their fathers to fight for them. We see sons without fathers growing up carrying around a deep wound and not understanding what it means to be a man. We see young ladies without the father in her life trying to replace dad with each new guy that comes into her life. When will we as fathers begin to fight for our children. When we will as husbands begin to fight for our marriages? When we will as men of God begin to fight for God? 
Our children are crying out, fight for me. Our wives are crying out, fight for me. Our God is crying out, fight for me. Even in the homes where the man is present, we live in a society where it is cooler to work long hours and slave at the office than it is to invest in the relationships that are around us. The ministry field is not exempt to this. I know that many people joke that pastors just work on Sunday but many of us fill long hours with meeting people, counseling, praying, studying and trying everything that we can to reach the lost. We are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If someone is in the hospital, we drop what we are doing and rush to their side. If someone is having a crisis at 2 in the morning, we leave our beds and counsel the hurting. However, pastors try and use the excuse that they are working for God so being a workacholic and non-existent husband and father is acceptable. I have wondered lately if the reason why so many pastor’s kids are far from God is because the person on the stage talking about God was not the same person that the kids never saw at home. 
Last week at the church planting conference that Kat and I attended, we saw Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and his family speak. Bill, his wife and kids were speaking because both of Bill’s adult children still love Jesus and serve the local church. Bill became choked up when speaking about how proud he was of his children. 
I am choosing to be a present father and a present husband. I am choosing to fight for my wife, for my children and for my God. The question becomes, “Will you?” 
P.S. I am writing this blog at the Apple Store at Green Hills because for some reason the IPhone is not water resistant when you go swimming. Not sure why!!! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Creating Community

I had a great meeting today with a very knowledgable person. As I sit here trying to reflect upon the details of our conversation, I feel challenged to look at church from a different perspective. Too often, we have this approach of Come and See. In the church world, we call this model the attraction model. It basically comes to the understanding of  we have something within the four walls of our church that people need to see. Another approach that is gaining momentum is what my wife termed the Go and Be. This approach would be called the missional model. Somewhere in the middle is where I believe that God is calling me to plant a church. 
I believe that without a doubt that God wants devoted followers to be in their communities making a difference for Christ. I believe that as I speak with people about Spring Hill, I hear and see a community of unconnected people searching for deeper connection. What can a church do? Nothing. What can a group of devoted Christ lovers do? Everything. If people in the Spring Hill and North Columbia area would begin to invest in the lives of their neighbors, not only would people come to know Christ, an entire community would be changed. Our approach to ministry in Spring Hill will not be more programs of come and see but will be based upon the belief that everyone is a minister and God has called each of us to love our neighbors. We will equip, encourage and empower our people to love those that they are surrounded by daily in the name of Jesus Christ. We will do this not because our neighbors that do not know God yet are a project but because Christ loves us, loves them and calls us to love them. We also hope that the time of gathering of worship and teaching will be such that one would want to invite their friends and family but in order to have the right to invite, one must put in the time to know. 
We will also approach our plant in such a way that to intentionally build a community or family feel. Knowing that many people in Spring Hill have moved to this community and lack extended family means that many people do not have those people around them when times are tough or to celebrate when times are good. As a father, I want people to know and invest in my children and I want people to love and support my wife. I want to walk with men and women in the journey of life. God did not create humans to live in isolation but in community. 
I say all of these things to say that I have a lot of grandiose ideas. I have dreams and vision of something bigger than I can even wrap my head around and I believe that is a good thing. I hope and pray that as I take this vision and put it into a plan with goals, time lines and details that I do not lose the passion that I have for God and for the community of Spring Hill. I can’t wait to see the lives restored through the amazing grace of Jesus Christ through the devoted people of the future church plant. 
Pray that God will continue to reveal his vision for this new church, His church, 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Starting Over

When I started this blog in January, I had great hope and wonderful intentions to write every day and not go a day without doing so. All great intentions do not turn into perfect results. As those that have followed know, I started out posting every day often times late at night. However, I missed a couple of days and then those days turned into weeks and those weeks turned into a couple of months. So many times I wanted to blog but I felt like I had failed so I refused to write until I was able to deal with letting myself down and letting some of you down as well. 

As some of you know, I have the opportunity to plant a church in the wonderful city of Spring Hill, TN. And I know that it is very important to get your name out there and have people be able to know my heart in order to determine if they want to know more about Jesus. Therefore, I am going to begin writing again. The format may be different but I hope that each of you find the material as real and authentic as ever. 

I hope that each of you will share my vision and hope that what God is doing through my wife @Katmhunter and me will be bigger than a church plant but will transform the community of Spring Hill, North Columbia, Santa Fe and Thompson Station for Christ. In the end, I want to be obedient to Christ no matter the outcome. 

Here is to more conversations in the future, 


Follow me on twitter @Derekshunter