Archive for December, 2007

Hopefully you have had an excellent Christmas and Holiday season. I know that I have enjoyed every minute of Christmas this year. 2007 has been excellent and 2008 looks like it will be great!

Happy New Year!!

As I write this, we are exactly one week away from the beginning of a new Perspectives course. Are you excited? We are excited to be having Dr. Steve Rennick as our opening speaker. Steve is the Senior Pastor at Church at the Crossing, in Indianapolis.

This year anyone can attend the first night, January 7 from 6:30-9:30 absolutely free! If you are available we could use your help to make sure the evening flows smoothly! Class this year is at the new Madison Park Church of God.

Thanks in advance and God Bless your 2008!

December is always a busy month preparing for Christmas and thinking about plans for the New Year.  It was extra busy for Team Cross this year since we are planning to move to Minneapolis at the beginning of the year!

I was reminded of the simple fact that Church is more than just a building after we had church canceled.

I began listening to a great new podcast by David Peach, where he interviews missionaries.

I finally got around to posting the 10 Essentials of a Highly Healthy Marriage from the Mission Conference in November! I have a lot of room for growth!

I made some changes to my running blog – actually creating a whole new site, and also changing the address of this site.

We attended a recent Over the Rhine concert and I explored the depths of my social networking friendships.

Did you buy Jesus for a loved one?

Two excellent sermons this month about the true meaning and spirit of the Christmas season.  Vertigo and Love

We made the rounds this Christmas season getting to see almost all of our families.  When we move, we’ll scratch a few more family members off the list! It was kinda crazy and chaotic, but that’s how my family rolls!

Saturday morning we headed to Cincinnati to  see one of Christy’s Uncles, the went to my sister’s powerlifting meet in Springfield.  There we also celebrated my Dad’s birthday and Christmas with his family and his brother’s family.

We left Dad’s on Monday morning to visit my Mom’s family in Frankfort.  We spent Christmas Eve with one of my Aunt’s and her family.

Christmas morning we awoke to presents under the tree and lots of glee.  We had our traditional lunch with the Crosier family before heading back to Indianapolis for dinner with Christy’s parents and sister, and more presents!

After leaving Saturday around 8 we got back to our humble abode around 11 and opened the remaining presents under our tree!  What a celebration and great time to see our families.

It is kind of amazing how one birthday has so many celebrations!

You can see even more pictures here.

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I did a lot more blogging in 2007 than 2006, partly due to the fact that I was employed! I actually didn’t put Google Analytics code into the site until September 1, so really this is just the last 4 months!

Here are the Top 5 Most Read Posts!

  1. Learning About Ramadan – explored the traditions and history of the Muslim holiday.
  2. Davinci Controversy – was actually a book review of Dan Brown’s fictional story called The Da Vinci Code.
  3. Money Won’t Solve Africa’s Problems – summarized a series of articles in the Christian Science Monitor about what needs to be done to help Africa overcome some of its chronic problems.
  4. Should Prostitution Be Legalized? – Christians don’t normally like to talk about prostitution, but this article looked at how Christians should approach this topic and help end the practice.

Honorable Mentions include:

  • Million Muslim Outreach – is a ministry of the Crescent Project which is reaching out to Muslims in the United States with the intent that after understanding who Jesus is, they will accept His gift of Salvation and then carry that message home where missionaries are unable to go.
  • Teenagers and Church – looked at recent Barna research about teenage spirituality and a NY Times article about Church Halo Parties!

I have really enjoyed working on this blog and expanding its readership while also providing occasional personal updates for all my friends out there!  Did you have a favorite post of mine in 2007?

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When I wrote last Monday about Canceling Church, I forgot one major part – the Church doesn’t have walls!

Thanks to Carol for pointing that fact out to me! In her comment she said:

Well, when you think of church not being about the building, but more about fellowship, I don’t have a problem canceling Sunday morning service. I could show up every Sunday to service, but miss what it means to worship. I sort of cancel church in my own way everyday, like when I spend more time on the computer than time with God (hmmm, like now).

It is a little ironic that I forgot this important aspect of Christianity, since our church is constantly reminding us that we are the church, not a building!

I really like this translation of Galatians 6:1-3 (The Message)

Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

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From Team Cross,

We would like to wish you a blessed and Merry Christmas from our family to yours. We hope it is filled with lots of joy.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas
Image from Stock.xchng
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Acts 8:1 shows early Christians being persecuted:

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

I know that I often forget about persecution because oftentimes it doesn’t feel like I’m being persecuted or my life doesn’t lend itself to persecution. For most of us the most persecution we would feel is someone not talking to us or thinking we are weird. That is not the case for millions of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.

One of the best organizations focusing on the persecuted church is Voice of the Martyrs. They have lots of different ways to get involved and to serve the persecuted church. One of the ways is to read the Persecution Blog.

An official arm of VOM this blog is updated multiple times daily about the latest news stories featuring Christians persecuted around the globe.

Recent headlines include:

Be sure to check out this great resource!

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:31-39

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