April, 2015

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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Columbia Woman Takes Shortcut To Win Marathon And What We Can Learn From It…Updated

Kendall SchlerI feel really bad for Kendall Schler, the 26 year old woman from Columbia who race officials stripped of her win in St. Louis’ GO! Marathon after determining that she didn’t run the entire course. If her name and picture hadn’t already been displayed in both the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Columbia Tribune, I wouldn’t include it here because I take no pleasure in her pain.


For the love of baseball

“Morning, Mom. Morning, Dad. Did the Royals win last night?”royals

“Yeah, can we watch the highlights?”

With Royals baseball enthusiasts in our house, this is how many mornings between April and October (at least in 2014!) start.

I have learned to love baseball season. It wasn’t my first love, or even my second, but I have come to really enjoy it and how it affects our family; specifically, there are a couple of reasons that I want to encourage my kids in their love of baseball, and especially the Royals.

  • First, their dad loves baseball and the Royals, thus making it a fun father-son/daughter bonding thing.
  • Second, I love the fact that to this point all of our kids have picked the Royals as their team (except on occasion when one ornery kid tries to claim he loves the Cubs). It has built a lot of sibling camaraderie when they all put their Royals shirts on and get excited about an upcoming game. Sweet memories are being made, and I want to encourage it.

So what’s the problem?

Actor’s Worst Job: Working for a Christian

Because his resume includes everything from Oscar nominated work (Foxcatcher, The Kids Are All Right) to a well-received turn as the Incredible Hulk in the blockbuster Avengers franchise, it’s likely that actor Mark Ruffalo won’t have to worry about having quality employment anytime soon. But like most people, he hasn’t always enjoyed his work.

But when he was asked in a recent promotional interview about the worst job he’s ever had, Ruffalo didn’t mention anything in the realm of acting. Instead, he referred to working in a guitar store with a “hardcore fundamentalist Christian” who was “really mean.” He went on to describe the man in question as “a little bit racist” and “incredibly condescending and arrogant.”

I recognize that we only have Ruffalo’s account of his experience to go on, but it nevertheless sparked a number of thoughts:

Living a Life of Discerning Servitude

What does it really mean to be faithful to God? If the Lord wills it, we hear the true gospel message preached. We feel our hearts quicken, sense that we are being drawn into relationship with a Being we cannot see…and yet One that we sense is more real, more lasting and more true than

Songs and Scenes: April 26, 2015

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Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. 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 3: Spring’s Ardor”; a new E.P. featuring “Trees Will Clap”. A song that is a Crossing favorite. Check it out on C.D. or digital download at crossingsongs.com. Vinyl is coming soon.

Getting Ready for Sunday Apr. 26th 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.

Shay Roush continues our 1 Corinthians series this Sunday with a sermon entitled, “The Death of Death: Why the Resurrection Matters” from 1 Corinthians 15:12–20. The Scripture reads,

The Best Books I Will Read In 2015

america's pastorIt’s only April so how can I possibly know the best books I will read in 2015? I get that I’ve already read some good books and that I will hopefully read more in the course of the next several months but I just can’t imagine that I will find two that I enjoy more than America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. If I do, then 2015 will be a banner year in reading.

These two books combine some of my favorite genres: history, biography, and politics. Then throw in some religion and it gets even better. Billy Graham was the seminal force in American Christianity in the 20th century defining evangelicals from fundamentalists (an evangelical was someone who liked Graham and a fundamentalist was one who thought he was too “liberal”), rallying Christians to be involved in government, an important voice on desegregation, and a possessing a relationship with every president since Truman.

The Fickleness of Our Consuming Hearts

17mastiff_watching-videoSixteenByNine540-v3 In 2013, one of these Tibetan mastiffs was one of the most prized dogs you could buy for yourself in China. The New York Times explains:

“There once was a time, during the frenzied heights of China’s Tibetan mastiff craze, when a droopy-eyed slobbering giant like Nibble [pictured above] might have fetched $200,000 and ended up roaming the landscaped grounds of some coal tycoon’s suburban villa… At the peak of the mastiff mania, some breeders pumped their studs with silicone to make them look more powerful; in early 2013, the owner of one promising moneymaker sued a Beijing animal clinic for $140,000 after his dog died on the operating table during face-lift surgery. But Tibetan mastiffs are so 2013.”

Today in 2015, just two years later, the lucky ones would be sold for less than $2,000 while the unlucky ones would be packed away in small crates and delivered to a slaughterhouse, “where, at roughly $5 a head, they would have been rendered into hot pot ingredients, imitation leather and the lining for winter gloves.” The article goes on:

Point of Focus: The Problems of a World Without God

The existence of evil has long been considered a problem for those who believe in God. But does taking God out of the equation make more sense out of the world, or less? The latest edition of Point of Focus takes a look:

Newness of Life and the Business of Death

One of the more pivotal half-truths that make a lifestyle of alcoholism and/or drug addiction so compelling is the idea that, “Well, we’re all going to die anyway, so really, what’s the difference? I might as well get some relief from my emotional pain while I am still on the ride.” Just like all of