Archive for the ‘biblical community’ Category

As this excerpt implies, all who know of or are seeking God’s truth are in need of the truth……in all places!

“A gospel-centered church is always about the gospel. It preaches the gospel in all places, at all times, to all people. The gospel is the defining element in every part of their ministry.

Nonbelievers need to hear the gospel to believe it and be saved.  Believers need to be reminded of the gospel so they can grow deeper in Christ. There really is no distinction, you see, between what believers need to hear and what unbelievers need to hear. Both believers and unbelievers need to get a glimpse of God’s majestic glory, a taste of His surpassing beauty, and a sense of how much grace God has shown toward them in Christ. Both believers and unbelievers need to be rebukes for their pride and self sufficiency, to be reminded of the all surpassing beauty of God. They both need to be stirred up to faith. The gospel is the center of the message no matter who you are talking to. It is everything. Christ is all.”

– J.D. Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary, page 240

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I can’t wait for the day that God leads Crossroads to  pull this one off. Read about the church that Ron Edmondson leads and how they laid it out for all to see. I thank God for churches who are not afraid to be transparent before God, the community, and those who may not know Him. God can and is moving mountains….let Him breathe new life into all of us.

-Tom

This is a post by Steve Timmis  that I read a couple of weeks ago about “Pastoral Care”, but find it very appropriate at this time to share with those of you who follow me,  but maybe not Steve. Church is many things, but sometimes I think some of us get it confused with our own ideals…..

-tom

Therapeutic community” is a phrase in vogue in the areas of mental illness and addiction. Groups are formed in which patients or clients live together for an extended period and take responsibility for each other. It sounds suspiciously like church to me.

The Church: The Ideal Therapeutic Community

When we become Christians, we become members of God’s household, but we all bring with us our baggage and brokenness. It might not always look like that in many of our churches, but that’s only because of the facades we erect to hide the truth. So given that we’re all broken, sanctification is about grace putting us back together again as we grow more like Jesus. This is best done in community, which means that church as the community of the Holy Spirit is the ideal therapeutic community.

Brokenness and Self-Worship

Sadly, this is often another situation in which we are keen to outsource. Anything too complicated (like depression) or too weird (like psychosis), and we’re on the phone to the local therapist before you can say “Freud was a basket case.” The gospel tells us that our brokenness is an expression of our broken relationship with God. This is the essence of sin, and sin is insanity. However we express our brokenness, in some way it is because of our refusal to worship God and our obsession with self-worship. You’re not going to hear that at the local Mayo Clinic.

The Gospel Makes Us Sane

But a word of warning. Seeing church as a therapeutic community doesn’t mean that it’s an exercise in self-indulgence; a context where we all huddle together and wallow in our condition. The gospel is that which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, makes us sane and heals our brokenness so that we live for Christ as our healing commends him and his grace to others.

Whew……..I’m ready for bed. But before I turn in, I thought I would share my day with you!

  • My day started with Sharon waking up to not feeling well…..sore throat and achy (she is still feeling YUCK), pray for her.
  • Had worship stuff  finished, was able to have extended prayer time before leaving for worship.
  • We had 3 new families at Crossroads this morning, and 22 kids in our kids worship environment. Good work Karol and student helpers! God keeps blessing, and we keep loving it every Sunday.
  • So proud of the a couple of new attenders who stepped up to be greeters this morning, with a smile!
  • Our drummer (Bill) was out at the last second, so we went acoustic for worship music, it was a lot of fun…thanks Maurice!
  • Performed 5 songs, 4 were new……..hope we don’t that again.
  • Mark did a great job filling in the ProPresenter worship stuff……nice “glassy eyed” look–Thanks Markus!
  • Craig‘s message (week 2 of “The Vow” series) was amazing, useful and can’t wait for the “Gomer Pyle” look at my house…
  • Got a great series of text messages tonight from one of the visitors from this morning saying how blessed they were to be at Crossroads this morning and they felt they have found a church home and how their kids loved our kids worship…….dang, I love it when God moves hearts like that!
  • Spent time praying this afternoon for current and future leaders at Crossroads, that we would be strong like David and faithful like Paul in all we say and do.
  • Worked out (hard) tonight at the gym….seemed to have had a desire to beat the crap out of the elliptical machine for some reason.
  • Finished a movie with my family…….and man, do I love my family. I am so proud of what God is doing in their lives and in their daily walk. Even though we are soooooo far from even being good (actually extremely broken and humble), I know each day we grow closer to Jesus Christ and being home with our Father in heaven.
  • Finally, I’ve been thinking about all the relationships being built at Crossroads since August 2008. This week is another milestone in the life of our church. LifeGroups started tonight….I got a report from one of the attenders already and she said it was so good, that she couldn’t wait until next Sunday! Two more get started Monday and Tuesday night. Please pray them up!! Thanks to Steve and Mark for working hard over the last two months to get leaders ready.

Ah, yeah. got a different look on the top of my head on Friday. Pretty high and tight (real cold in the wintertime, ya know)!

-Tom

After almost 4 years of trying to discern what, where and how God wanted to plant a Church…………….well, I think I’m beginning to see what He had in mind. This afternoon, I spend over two hours with over 35 people who are also getting it. So many people coming together to reach those who are “far from God” and help them become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ in the Halstead community and beyond…. working with other churches…….how fun is that? God always wins….. I’ll keep you posted!

-tom

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