July, 2014

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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Guest Post: Building to Change Lives

Thanks to Emily Pilkington for the following post, which she originally contributed to Leaving a Legacy, the blog of Crossing Kids.


Last Sunday as I pulled into the parking lot, I took notice of the construction site around the building in a new way.  This is because a large chunk of my last week was spent in a remote village in the mountains of Guatemala working with a team of people from The Crossing and Guatemala to build a new church.  When you sit down to have a conversation with their pastor, Miguel Anjel, it would be easy to focus on the ways his job is different from ours.

Wrestling with Divine Timetables

Over the years, God has seen fit to work in my life such that when I look back, I can see areas where He has significantly changed my heart. However, there are plenty of other areas of sin and unbelief where I look back and can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever change. One of

Welcome to the New Every Square Inch

Welcome to the newly redesigned Every Square Inch!

In addition to the visual update, the new site is intended to give you more and better options to read and share posts that will help you grow in your understanding the gospel and its relationship to every area of life. To that end, we’ll keep writing about culture, theology, family, apologetics, devotional matters, and more.

So take a few minutes to explore the new set-up. A few things to keep in mind as you do:

1. If you’d like to subscribe to ESI over email or by RSS feed, you can do so by hitting the feeds icon on the far right of the menu bar or simply clicking here.

2. You’ll find easy ways to share content by clicking the “share this” icon in the column to the left or by using the icons at the end of each post.

3. All the previous posts have been imported to the new site. You can browse through older posts simply by scrolling down (which will continually load earlier pages), or through the archives, categories, and authors pages. Some of the formatting in individual posts may have suffered a bit from the changeover—the price we pay for progress….

Finally, our apologies in advance for any hiccups over the next few days as we try to make sure everything works the way it should.

Getting ready for Sunday July 27th at The Crossing

Photos By Gerik Parmele | gerik.com

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Charles Anderson preaches this week, starting a mini-series in 1 Kings, from 1 Kings 17 in a sermon entitled “Who’s #1?” The Scripture reads,

10 Characteristics of Transformed Lives

In the past week, two very different people sent me two very different thank-you letters. Both men wrote to thank me for something that God alone is responsible for. Rather than argue theology with these two guys, I simply rejoiced with them that their lives were solidly on the road to recovery from a lifetime of besetting sin and affirmed my willingness to continue walking with them…as long as it takes, over as many bumps in the road as will undoubtedly occur.

The road to recovery and transformation is long and hard, no matter the details of your particular mess. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deceived. That said, God is rich in mercy, and He sometimes “breaks in” and gives people who are sincerely seeking Him “a leg up” on the recovery process, a rapid boost intended to allow His people to get a glimpse of His power in their lives. He did this for me in July of 1997 when He “all-at-once” removed the desire to drink alcohol and/or take illegal drugs.

Since that epic moment in my own life, I have continued to watch for signs of His mercy in my life and in the lives of others (Psalm 130:6). There have been countless reasons to rejoice, just as there have also been countless times to mourn (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). More on that some other time. For now, here are some mind-blowing excerpts from last week:

Getting Ready for Sunday July 20th at The Crossing

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. When you think about and prepare ahead of time, it gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get your mind and heart ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Justin Garrett finishes our sermon series in Exodus this week with a sermon from Exodus 34:1–8, entitled “Getting what you need instead of what you want.” The Scripture reads,


Parry and Lunge: An Encounter with ‘Light-Saber Theology’

“How about we just watch the rest of the movie, OK? We can talk about that other stuff while you get ready for bed.”

It’s not often that my son makes a sincere inquiry and I decline to answer him, especially when 1) it’s actually a valid theological question (though he wouldn’t know that), and 2) it’s clearly “a teachable moment.” The truth is that I simply had a less-than-exemplary parenting moment. Selfish and tired, I just wanted to watch the rest of the movie; I very nearly missed the opportunity to instruct (Deuteronomy 6:7).

“Your pop-culture theology has made you weak, old man!”

In all fairness, though, Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith had reached the climactic light-saber duel between Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they jumped around on makeshift platforms in the middle of a sea of boiling-hot lava. Even as the segment at hand clearly demonstrated the limitations of digital effects, I was anxious to find out just how, exactly, the current feature would square with the previous Star Wars episodes that I had already seen.

Getting Ready for Sunday July 13th at The Crossing

After a few weeks off because of study leave, we’re back with our guide for how to prepare for the upcoming Sunday service. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage ahead of time, see the song list, and get your mind and heart ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Keith Simon resumes our series in Exodus with a sermon from Exodus 33 entitled, “Do You Love God or his Gifts?”

The Most Common Religion Among American Kids

Are you a Christian or are you a member of the growing new American religion called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism? That’s an important question to ask based on research by Christian Smith and others at the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina. After conducting 3000 interviews with teenagers, Smith and his team said that most teens’ religion can be reduced to these five convictions:

POF: Does Christian Faith Equal Blind Faith?

This month’s Point of Focus touches on whether exercising faith means checking your critical thinking at the door: