Archive for December, 2008

Pursue the goal

Posted: December 30, 2008 in church, Jesus Christ
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As we end 2008 and begin 2009 I want to encourage you to join me in having Paul’s attitude when he says:

“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus .”                            Philippians 3:12-14

Let’s get this party started!

-tom

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We all know we should give, but sometimes it is easy to forget some of the reasons for giving. While there are hundreds of reasons to give, these six provide a good starting point.

1. We were designed to give

You could use a pencil to dig a hole, but it will not be very efficient. The pencil was not designed for digging. However, a shovel is designed with that purpose in mind and will produce much better results than a pencil.

Since God is the ultimate giver and we are designed in His likeness and image, we function at our best when we are giving. Most of the world spends it’s energy trying to hoard all they can which is like digging a hole with a pencil. When we give, we are functioning in the manner with which we were created, and therefore produce much better results.

2. As a response to God’s generosity

We all know the verse… “For God so loved the world that He GAVE…” (John 3:16). We have received the greatest gift that anyone could possibly be given. We should be overflowing with gratitude and thanks. Of course we will never be able to pay Him back, but shouldn’t we spend our lives trying anyway?

3. To remind ourselves that He is our source

When we look at our employer or our paycheck as our source, things can be very scary. But understanding that God is our unfailing supply of all our needs is very reassuring, no matter what the economy is doing. Giving is just another way we can remind ourselves of this.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19).

4. To help achieve economic justice

Why are there parts of the world with people starving, while most of us have never missed a meal? There is more than enough money in the world that no one would ever have to go hungry, but it is just not evenly dispersed.

“Our desire . . . is that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need” (2 Cor 8:13-14).

5. To break the hold of money

One of the best reasons for giving is that by giving we break the hold that money might otherwise have on us. The Bible makes it clear that if we are going to follow God, we can’t have our minds occupied with money. Every sober day for an alcoholic proves his liberty from alcohol a bit more. So it goes with giving. The more we give, the more it proves that money doesn’t have control over us.

6. To experience the blessing of giving

Jesus himself said, “it is more blessed to give than receive.” He wasn’t just uttering meaningless religious words. He understood the joy of giving. He gave up his life and endured inexpressible pain because he understood the joy of giving. The Bible says that He did if for the joy set before Him. He knew that one day He would see you and I being saved from Hell and He would say, “it was all worth it.” (taken from christianpf.com)

Although the economic news is not inspiring, I hope this inspires you to re-think where God is leading you and your call to be involved in the local church in every way…………….more to come as we look toward 2009!

-tom


Okay, I will try not to ramble on about Crossroads’ first “Christmas Eve Eve” celebration last evening. However, it was a HOME RUN! The “collision”that happened over 2000 years ago, was once again honored in a most humbling experience. I would like to send a big shout out to all who attended and especially all who helped to make it a success (Christ glorifying, good singing, sound, lighting, new families…..)!

Special thanks to:

  • Kim for organizing everything from beginning to end (can’t wait to see you and Kirt put together for next year, literally)….as well as your usual stellar work with those vocal pipes that God gifted you with.
  • Mike and Brian for your delivering  and sharing your gift of song and guitar playing..
  • Russ, who found out  how much he misses greeting all who attend and visit any of our weekly experiences, by volunteering as a greeter last evening. Russ, you have found one of your many gifts and it shows.
  • Mersades, Baren and Brian for a beautiful rendition of “silent night”, you girls continue to wow us all including on Sunday mornings.
  • Randy and Karsen for making the audio/visual, lighting and the surprise snow machine bring that extra something that always makes the experience worshipful, yet completely different.
  • All of you readers and singers (chorus group) that delivered an amazing touch to the experience.
  • everyone who helped with setup and tear-down. We know that this is part of the Crossroads’ experience on a weekly basis. But all of you do it with joy and use it to build relationships with one another. Truly inspiring to see.
  • If I left anyone out, know that you were most appreciated as well.

Last night was one more experience that confirms, that what was started over 3 years ago with an over-whelming burden for reaching the spiritually lost in our community, is continuing to become a reality. God is allowing all of you (men, women, students and children) to help to spread “the Christ’s” light that we so celebrate during the Christmas season.

I wish each one of you at Crossroads Community Church a very blessed Christmas and am sooooo looking forward to what 2009 (okay, 2009 is an entirely different post for another day), anyway have a Merry Christmas!!

-tom

What if your church closed up shop today? Would anybody care? Would anybody cry? Would anybody swear? Seriously… how many people would really give a care?

Just something to think about………….Have a great week!

-tom

peace for sale?

Posted: December 17, 2008 in Jesus Christ
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As I was listening to some talk radio and making my way towards my home one evening last week, I had an interesting question come to mind…….is Christmas peace for sale? I have since thought in dismay about the commercialism of this season and what it brings to families across the globe. Rather than the “glad tidings” that the traditional Christmas carole talks about, it appears very possible that it’s not peace at all that is being purchased.

I hear a few folks who are more apt to complain about the need for gifts and all of the purchased pleasantries, than to celebrate the birth of the one who can truly “save us” from all that we’ve made it. In the present economy, I doubt that most shopping will come to a standstill during the next 7 days. It’s my prayer, however, that we are able to (make) the time  to truly celebrate as families the amazing event that took place over 2000 years ago. The birth of Jesus Christ, who came to save the world from itself.

It’s all about focus……

-tom

God has great timing……….like this weekend:

  • Crossroads community team met Saturday (for the first time). Thanks to Bill G. for his leadership. Several folks attended a many ideas were funneled into the beginnings of a plan for 2009. Great job!
  • My family enjoyed a movie/dinner afternoon on Saturday(much needed, been a very busy week)!
  • Today we woke up to a very chilly Sunday morning. But, the Crossroads team was warmed up. This morning, Randy and Norman had the Senior Center setup early for our worship team to have extra time to practice. Thanks gentlemen!
  • Sunday’s worship set was spirit-filled with praise and a couple of Christmas carols. Had a lot of great comments about the sound this morning.
  • Broke open a new message series called “prayer” from LifeChurch.tv. Another amazing installment by Craig Groeschel. Was a great time of reflection, learning and challenge about prayer.
  • God continues to bless Crossroads by allowing us to reach new families in our community through worship and service experiences.
  • Attended the Halstead High School vocal music “vespers” performance Sunday afternoon. Alex did a great job, needs to smile more!!!
  • Crossroads C3 students have planned it’s first “Christmas party” for Wednesday night. Food, snacks, games and fun will be on the schedule for certain.
  • Looking forward to a wonderful Christmas “EVE” eve celebration at the Halstead Senior Center on December 23rd. This opportunity will take place @ 7:00 p.m. and will be Crossroads Christmas Eve celebration. It will include special music (many people sharing in the music) a message and fellowship to follow.

I’ll try to do a better job of updating this blog with the happenings of Crossroads Community Church in the future! Have a great week everyone. Christmas is stinkin’ fun!!

-tom

cellular access

Posted: December 12, 2008 in Uncategorized
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What HE has to say

What HE has to say

Thanks to Craig Groeschel and Bobby Gruenewald from swerve.LifeChurch.tv

for turning me on to the YouVersion Bible for BlackBerry application. This is giving me access to God’s Word anywhere (and I mean anywhere) I am.  It’s an amazing tool for my phone and for my daily study. How’s your daily study going?? Stay in the Word baby, it will save your life.

-tom