January, 2015

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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Getting Ready for Sunday Feb. 1st at The Crossing

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

How Not To Raise Teens That Are Almost Christian

Research from the National Study of Youth and Religion shows that a significant majority of America teenagers haven’t so much rejected Christianity as replaced it with a poor substitute–one that leaves them Almost Christian. After conducting over 3,000 personal interviews with teens, Christian Smith, currently a professor at Notre Dame, and his team determined that most teens’ religion can be distilled into these 5 points…

God is still in the business of surprising births

This past Sunday, January 25, 2015, two babies were born on opposite sides of the world. Neither are particularly special on the surface – neither famous nor particularly noteworthy. However, news of both of their arrivals, and even on the same day, caught my attention and made my eyes a little misty – in a very rich way.

What is so special about these two seven pound babies?

Newsweek’s Flawed Criticism of the Bible

It’s fairly common for a high profile media outlet to run a feature that discusses important aspects of the Christian faith. And when they do, I have to admit that my first reaction usually isn’t hopeful. Newsweek’s recent lengthy examination of the Bible, and how many Christians supposedly misuse it, is a prime example as to why.

Interacting with every questionable point in the article would take far more time and space than I can give it here. (Those interested can check out more extensive critiques from Darrel Bock, Daniel Wallace, and Michael Brown. To Newsweek’s credit, the latter is found on their own site.) Instead, I’ll point out a handful of major issues in the hope of illustrating the problematic nature of the piece:

Ever Watchful. Always Loving.

Our family has a framed sketch of Jesus that hangs in an open area of our home that we call my “office.” An intricate drawing of Christ on His way to the cross – thorny crown pressed into his head, face downward in submission – the picture has always exerted a strong draw on my

Getting Ready for Sunday Jan. 25th at The Crossing

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.

Dave Cover this week continues our series in 1 Corinthians with a sermon entitled, “When Should You Sacrifice Your Freedom?” from 1 Corinthians 8. The Scripture reads,

Woman Who Died A Year Ago Found In Home On Christmas: A True Metaphor

Just this past Christmas Sunatha Simmons, a 63 year old woman from Thailand, was found dead in her home by family visiting from Japan. The coroner report stated that she had died of natural causes approximately one year ago. None of her neighbors in the small town of Makanda, Illinois had noticed.

Not that there weren’t signs that something was amiss. Her yard was overgrown, trash littered her front porch, and no one had seen her. According to the news story at least some in the community knew that she struggled with depression since her husbands’ death. Here’s the line in the story that got me…

“Neighbor Shannon Butler said she would have checked on the woman if she’d known her better.”

Helping Each Other Fight Sin

On Sunday Keith preached an excellent sermon on 1 Corinthians 5 called “Fighting Sin is a Community Project.” He gave four motivations for fighting sin: because it damages people, the church, the reputation of Christ, and because the sin inside the church is a bigger problem than the sin outside the church.

If you were like me, you walked away with a renewed desire to fight sin in your life as well as to help others fight sin. The question is how best to do it?

Sharing Your Faith Might Look Different Than You Think–Pt. 2

Last week, we explored the fact that the way in which people come to faith should be thought of less as a singular event and more as a longer process. And as a result, effective outreach might include anything that helps someone move closer to believing the gospel.

Looking at the case of the apostle Paul, we found that his background as a Pharisee and his activities persecuting Christians were likely instrumental in him eventually believing in Christ. But what about other examples? What are some of the means that God uses to call people to himself (often through people like us)?

The following list is meant only to be suggestive, not exhaustive:

Songs and Scenes: January 19, 2015

Songs and Scenes Banner

Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. Today’s liturgy recap features photos of the new Student Center by Dan Gill. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available.

The Crossing Music recently released “Liturgy of the Seasons–Volume 2: Winter’s Woe”; a new E.P. featuring many songs from this morning’s service. Check it out on vinyl, C.D. or digital download at crossingsongs.com.