God’s Flickr Account

Flickr is cool.  It’s a free website where you can share your pictures with the world.

Yesterday Carolyn was creating a video for a series we’re doing in September, and she was getting frustrated.  She was looking online for pictures to go with the song she’s using in the video.  The song talks about people and events that happened long before cameras were invented, and she was struggling to find artistic portrayals that worked well with the video.  At one point she commented on how you can’t exactly do a Google image search and find a photograph of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary.

It kind of got me thinking…  I know this sounds stupid, but how cool would that be if God had a Flickr account?  That’d be so awesome if one day He just decided to post His family photos online.  “Here’s Jesus as a baby–oh hey, here’s His first step!  And here’s the daycare He went to in Egypt…”  Imagine seeing His photos of Creation Day #4, the look on the faces of Baal’s prophets when He burned up Elijah’s sacrifice, or Moses posing with a smile as he holds the Ten Commandments.

Okay, so maybe it sounds dumb.  But I still say it’d be cool if God had a Flickr account.

Published in: on July 24, 2007 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Podcast Even More Fixed!

For icing on the cake, iTunes has finally added our artwork image to the podcast.  Whew!  Now when you search for CrossWay Church in the iTunes Store, our podcast description is graced by our watercolor cross.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 3:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Podcast Fixed

Until about a week ago, I didn’t realize that our church podcast only played in one speaker.  When I listened to it on my computer, it came out of both speakers.  But I had inadvertently been uploading them with the sound only coming out of the left speaker.

Anyway, my brilliant wife figured out how to fix the problem.  So except for the intro, we are now in stereo starting with yesterday’s podcast.  My apologies for the sound quality glitch!

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wild Ponies, Wild Waves, and a Wild Baptism

CrossWay Church had its first baptism yesterday, together with SonRise Church and The Gathering Tree. It was a triplecord event, celebrating the conclusion of our first triplecord series, “I’d Rather Be Fishing.” We also had fresh grilled tuna–a ton of it. It was so fresh and delicious! Pastor Daryl and some other guys went deep sea fishing the other day and caught this tuna. It was in the ocean only three days before we ate it!

It was definitely a wild event. It was one of the windiest days I’ve seen at the beach, and I’ve never seen waves like that at Assateague! People were getting wiped out left and right. No one got baptized only once. The waves were wild and erratic and knocking everyone around. It was like baptizing a crowd in a storm!

There were roughly 300 people present from all three churches, not counting all the curious onlookers. We baptized a total of over 20 people. From CrossWay we baptized Levi, a courageous 12-year-old who was undeterred by the wild waves. In fact, of the two dozen people scheduled to be baptized, only three chose to be baptized in a pool after we left the beach! I can’t even describe how awesome and exciting the whole thing was. Unfortunately–to my great regret!–Carolyn and I didn’t have her camera there so I can’t post pictures right now. But other people shot plenty of pictures and some video, so I’ll post those on here as soon as possible.

Baptizing Levi the way it happened was very unconventional. I had explained to him beforehand exactly how it would go–or at least how I thought it would go. My explanation was very methodical and orderly. The Gathering Tree was to go first, followed by CrossWay, then SonRise. But the water was so wild, the wind so high, and the crowd so large that we ended up just having a baptizing free-for-all! Multiple baptisms were happening as the water got rougher and rougher, and we all just kept baptizing several people the best we could until it was all done. Levi and I went out in the waves with his dad, LJ. We did the talking part on the shore in front of the surf. When we got out in the water, I didn’t stand beside Levi and bring him down perpendicular to me, like a normal baptism. Instead, as a wave came, LJ and I just quickly leaned him back into the wave and quickly brought him up. It was very unusual and very awesome. I was very proud of Levi!

It was really neat combining all three churches to wrap up this series by eating, baptizing, and having a great time together. All three churches had a great turnout. I can’t wait for us to do this again!

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 7:32 am  Comments (2)  

Video from The Bridge

Hey guys, you’ve gotta check out this promo video.  It’s for a church launching in September.  Enjoy!

Published in: on July 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm  Comments (2)  

Or Maybe Not So Foxy

You gotta love living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Check out this account of a recent clash between local wildlife and… well, local wildlife.

After you read the article, you can click here to actually watch some video footage of the event. Look in the box with the header “WMDT Video Console.” It’s amazing the way they treated this rabid animal like just another overly drunk customer to be bounced, thrown out in the parking lot. I guess they were trying to set up the sequel.

Published in: on July 22, 2007 at 8:17 am  Comments (2)  

Las Quesadillas de Magnifique

Last night a wonderful thing happened: I ate the two best quesadillas I’ve ever had.  None others have even come close.  Now I’ve had some pretty tasty quesadillas in my day, but these were just unbelievable.  All the ingredients combined into a taste that was nothing less than powerful.

It was totally unexpected.  In fact, I actually made them just to use up some seafood Carolyn had left over from the enchiladas she made for me the other day.  So I put this seafood into two flour tortillas.  To each one I added shredded cheddar cheese, two kinds of hot sauce (one for heat and one for flavor), and taco seasoning.  Then Carolyn cooked them on the stove, and to top it off, she quickly whipped up this stunningly delicious white enchilada sauce.  I poured this on top of the quesadillas.

When I took my first bite, I thought my taste buds would explode.  Certain combinations are comprised of a unique chemistry that is hard to define and impossible to duplicate.  John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and cherries.  Larry, Moe, and Curly.  And whatever it is they put in Dr. Pepper.  We’re talking sheer magic here, folks.  And the mixture in these seafood quesadillas can now be added to this elite list.

People used to describe the insignificance of something by saying, “It’s nothing to write home about.”  Nowadays they might say, “It’s nothing to blog about.”  But these quesadillas, my friends, were definitely something to blog about.  As you can see.
In fact, I just might blog about them again after I eat the leftovers.

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 7:42 am  Comments (2)  

CrossWay On Purpose – Session 5

On Wednesday night, with a group of 12, we started out by looking at Revelation 17:17, which says: “For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.”  Okay, I know that sounds really weird out of context.  Actually, it sounds pretty weird in context.  The point is that God puts plans in the minds of even the bad guys in order to accomplish His purposes.  If He does that even with the bad guys, how much more will He do so with His own church?  God will have His way with CrossWay.  He will accomplish His purposes through us.  We only need to search out His plan and ask Him to press it on our hearts and minds.  If we’ll do this and be faithful to act on what He tells us, success is guaranteed.

Just a reminder of what success for the Christian church looks like: Loving God, loving people.  If we do that, we’ve done everything right.

Then we talked briefly about what we’ve seen in the Scriptures up to this point in the study.  Christi shared with us that one thing that’s stood out to her is the repeated command to go and tell.   That will indeed largely define us in the months and years ahead!

We had some time of prayer and launched into the Scriptures.  We read and discussed Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:6; 3:14-21; 4:11-16; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:24-29 (as you can see, it was a very Ephesian evening!).

Here’s what we discovered about what God wants CrossWay Church to be and to do:

  • Jesus is the Head of the Church
  • we are the Body
  • we represent the fullness of Jesus (every aspect)
  • He uses each part of the Body
  • we are God’s household
  • we are a building, God’s temple
  • we are fellow citizens
  • we are continually being built together
  • we are to be united
  • we are to be holy
  • we are built on the foundation of the apostles & prophets
  • the Spirit of God lives in us
  • Christ is the Chief Cornerstone
  • Christ holds us together
  • we are heirs
  • we share together in God’s promise in Jesus Christ
  • we’re part of the same body
  • to reverence the Father (prayer)-to kneel before Him
  • we are to bring the church to God in prayer
  • we bear the Father’s name
  • we get our power from His Spirit
  • Christ dwells in our hearts
  • we are to be rooted & grounded in love, so we’ll know & understand the love of Christ
  • to love in the Spirit
  • to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God
  • to give glory to God
  • to know Christ practically through experience, in a personal way
  • to remember that Christ is able
  • we are given our gifts by Jesus
  • we are gifted individually for a specific purpose
  • to do works of service
  • to build up the Body of Christ
  • to have unity in the faith
  • to become mature
  • it all has to be done in love
  • to speak the truth in love
  • Christ, the Head, supplies everything we need
  • to be grounded in truth-don’t be tossed around by false teaching
  • to know God’s Word
  • each part must do its work
  • grow up
  • to submit to Christ
  • Christ is the Head, we are the body
  • to fully carry out the Word of God
  • to rejoice in suffering
  • we are servants
  • we are commissioned by God
  • we are entrusted with God’s mission
  • to preach the Word of God in its fullness
  • Christ is in us
  • to preach Christ
  • to admonish
  • to teach
  • to present everyone fully mature in Christ
  • to work hard with Christ’s energy

After our time looking in the Scriptures, I shared with the group something that has been forming in my mind.  A plan is coming together to do a re-launch of sorts in January, kind of like a Grand Re-Opening.  This is something we’ve talked about doing at the beginning of fall, but this would be on a much larger scale.  We could do a series that’s directly geared toward the unchurched, and we could do some media saturation in an effort to connect with new groups of people.  More on that in the weeks ahead.

To close we discussed a particular need in the community and how we as a church family could help to meet it.

Published in: on July 20, 2007 at 8:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Harry Potter vs. God: Will the Real Fantasy Please Stand Up?

The current issue of Time magazine has an interesting yet silly piece by Lev Grossman called “The Doubting Harry.” In this article, Grossman makes some startling statements celebrating the way in which J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books reflect the growing anti-God sentiment in the U.S. today. In fact, the tag line reads: “Why we love a world where dragons are real and religion is the fantasy.”

Grossman writes: “If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God. Harry Potter lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by ghosts but has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn’t.”

Here goes the old “God is dead” thing again. What’s interesting is that Grossman seems happy about the thought of having no one to pray to, of being completely free from “religion” and “spirituality,” and living in a world where ghosts replace God. But it gets even weirder–read on:

“This charming notion represents a cultural sea change. In the new millennium, magic comes not from God or nature or anything grander or more mystical than a mere human emotion. In choosing Rowling as the reigning dreamer of our era, we have chosen a writer who dreams of a secular, bureaucratized, all-too-human sorcery, in which psychology and technology have superseded the sacred.”

“Charming notion”? Yikes.

Here’s the amazing irony: Grossman seems to forget that Harry Potter is the fiction! It seems that with The Da Vinci Code, we’ve forgotten that fiction does not dictate reality. God or Harry Potter–which one is the fiction? We can get lost in a good novel but we need to remember that even the most enthralling tales do not have the power to usurp God with psychology and technology. After reading the last page of a novel, God is still here and still real even after we close the book.

Another difficulty with the article is that I, along with the vast majority of other Americans, have most definitely not chosen Rowling as “the reigning dreamer of our era.” Most of us still choose to put our trust and dreams in the hands of God, not a novelist.  If Rowling is the current reigning dreamer, who was her predecessor–Tom Clancy?  Stephen King?  Whatever happened to the title of “the reigning dreamer of our era” being reserved for people like Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Perhaps the greatest tragic irony in the article is this line: “What does Harry have instead of God? Rowling’s answer, at once glib and profound, is that Harry’s power comes from love.” Love without God. Now there is a ridiculous notion! Even aside from the fact that Grossman romanticizes a world without God and seems to believe that fiction books determine what’s real, what amazes me most is this imagined dichotomy between God and love.

Fortunately, the God who is real has written a book that is true, and it tells us: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).

Grossman is right about one thing–power does indeed come from love. And love, here in the real world, comes from God.

Published in: on July 19, 2007 at 8:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Homemade Seafood Enchiladas!

Tonight Carolyn made some seafood enchiladas for me.  About four years ago I went to a restaurant in D.C. and had some seafood enchiladas that were so good I talked about them for a long time.  Carolyn remembered that, so while I was working today, she went and cooked up some homemade seafood enchiladas for me–and she doesn’t even like seafood!  And these were much, much better than the ones in D.C.!

What a wonderful wife.  You couldn’t ask for better than homemade seafood enchiladas.

Published in: on July 18, 2007 at 6:04 pm  Leave a Comment