CrossWay On Purpose – Session 9

We had 8 participants for Session 9 of CrossWay On Purpose, in which we wrapped up the Bible passages we’ve been studying for the past couple months.  Next week we will enter Phase 2 of CrossWay On Purpose, in which we will begin processing all the information we’ve gathered from the Scriptures.  We will sort it all out and draw from it to develop a vision, strategy, and purpose.  I’m so excited about what lies just around the corner!

In studying the last three of the seven churches which Jesus addresses in the opening chapters of Revelation, we completed our ever-growing list.  We examined Revelation 3:1-6; 7-13; 14-22.  We saw that we:

  • are to do God’s work
  • are to complete God’s work
  • are to be alive-and stay alive!
  • are to do the right thing for the right reason
  • are to fan the flames
  • are to strengthen & encourage the remnant
  • are to go back to our first love
  • are to repent
  • are to wake up!
  • are to hold fast to what we once had
  • are to be real
  • are to be authentic
  • will be rewarded if we are faithful
  • have promises from God
  • serve the God who opens doors
  • are to be faithful even when we’re weak
  • are to be humble, not proud
  • are to keep God’s Word
  • are not to deny Jesus’ name
  • are to endure patiently
  • will be rescued from the hour of trial
  • will be pillars in the temple of God-He will write on us the names of God, the City of God, and Jesus’ new name
  • will never leave God’s temple-we will never be separated from Him
  • will spend eternity with God
  • are not to be lukewarm
  • are to be genuine
  • are to have substance
  • are not to be complacent
  • are not to be self-sufficient
  • are to be earnest
  • are to repent
  • are loved by Jesus
  • are rebuked & disciplined by Jesus
  • are to open the door and let Jesus in
  • are to listen for God’s voice
  • are to have fellowship/communion with Jesus
  • will sit with Jesus on His throne

I hope to see you there next Wednesday as God begins to clarify CrossWay’s vision!

Published in: on August 31, 2007 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Nana, Popeye, and… Must Be One of My Uncles

My dad sent out an email about his dad, and in it he mentioned one of his favorite pictures of his parents.  So I figured I’d post it.  It’s a great picture of how things were between them, but it’s also pretty weird because in this picture my grandmother looks like my dad’s identical twin:

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Eric Grant Hyde (February 25, 1920 – August 30, 2007)

This morning my dad called and told me that his dad passed away in his sleep last night.  “Popeye,” as we seven grandkids and seven great-grandkids affectionately called him, was 87 years old.

Popeye was born in Mississippi in 1920 and met my grandmother, “Nana,” when he was barely more than a kid.  When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Popeye did two things in response: he enlisted in the Navy and asked Nana to marry him.  He didn’t make it very far in the Navy because his hearing ability didn’t meet their standards; fortunately, his second endeavor was more successful, and they were married that same month.

Popeye worked for the Hurt Grocery Company in Paragould, Arkansas, all of his adult life.  He only retired because he had to after his pickup was hit by a train in December 1986.  Not only did he miraculously survive that accident (though he was severely injured), but he went on to live longer than any other Hyde in recent memory.

A lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan, Popeye watched every Cards game on TV that he possibly could.  When he and Nana raised my dad and his two brothers (my uncles Hugh and Randy), they created lasting family memories by occasionally making the trek to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals play at old Busch Stadium.  To this day, my dad has a special fondness for the Cardinals.  And Popeye continued watching the Cards on TV until he was no longer physically able to.  (In fact, it’s kind of a family joke that he was able to hear the Cardinals games on TV long after he was able to hear my grandmother calling him!)  One year my dad and brothers and I got Popeye a Cardinals jersey with the name “Popeye” on the back, which he still had when he died.

One of the most admirable things about my Popeye was his faith.  He had a Bible given to him at Christmas in 1964 (a year, by the way, in which the Cardinals upset the Yankees in the World Series), and he read three chapters a day in that Bible as long as he was still able to see well enough to read.  I don’t know how far back my spiritual heritage goes, but I know it goes at least as far back as Popeye.

The last time I saw Popeye was about three months ago.  We visited him at the nursing home in Little Rock where he had to move several months before.  As we left, I kissed him on top of the head and told him that I love him.  In a rare moment of clarity, he responded, “I love you, too.  Very, very, very, very much!”

We love you, Popeye, and we’ll miss you greatly.  Thank you for being the steady and faithful man that you were, and leaving behind the legacy that you did.

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Lockers of the Greats

Figured it was time to share some more pics from our trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, a few weeks ago.   So here are the lockers of some of the greatest players ever.  In fact, if you added Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Ty Cobb, you’d have a list of the seven greatest position players (that is, non-pitchers) in baseball history.

Here’s the locker belonging to Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, who was probably the best all-around baseball player that there has ever been and will ever be.  He did more than just rack up amazing stats at the plate and nail down centerfield–he carried his team to win, and win big.  DiMaggio always came through with the clutch hit, carrying his New York Yankees to an unbelievable 9 World Series championships in his 13-year career.  (He led them to 10 World Series, but they lost one.)

Ted Williams may have been the greatest pure hitter ever (although I think the Babe’s got him beat).  During his career, his Boston Red Sox and DiMaggio’s Yankees were arch-rivals.  Williams and DiMaggio often competed for the MVP award.  The last player to hit .400 (he swatted .406 in 1941), Williams had such a keen eye that after the hitting the ball, he could tell you exactly where on the ball the bat made contact.  Like DiMaggio, Williams had his career interrupted by military service–he served in World War II and the Korean War, which is probably the only reason he doesn’t own every offensive record in the book.

Lou Gehrig joins Ruth and DiMaggio as the three greatest Yankees and perhaps the three greatest players ever.  Gehrig was teammates with both Ruth and DiMaggio.  Like Williams and DiMaggio, we’ll never know what kind of numbers Gehrig would have posted if his career had not been cut short–not by a war against another country, but by a war within his own body.  Even though disease cut short both his career and his life, Gehrig had one of the greatest careers imaginable.  Batting cleanup in the most potent lineup ever, he crushed a record 24 grand slams in his career.

Last but certainly not least is Stan “the Man” Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Like the other three, he spent his entire career with one team.  If I were to select the all-time greatest player in the National League, Musial’s only serious challenger would be Willie Mays.  I don’t know of anyone who owns more records than Musial, who is also a classy guy.  When I was a kid I sent him an autograph request with an addressed envelope enclosed, but I forgot to stamp it.  Not only did Musial stamp it himself, but he also threw in a picture of his own, which he signed: “To Nathan, a great fan.  Stan Musial.”  Who does stuff like that anymore?  Make sure you follow the link above to check out his stats.  I guarantee you’ll be impressed.

When I reflect on the amazing careers and achievements of men like these, I’m inspired by two thoughts:

(1) First, their excellence in their craft inspires me to strive for excellence in my own craft–preaching.

(2) Second, I have to wonder: How crazy-fun would it be to play baseball as one of the greatest players ever?

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Another Split Doubleheader

Well, we won another one!  And this one was an amazing comeback….

Last night our softball team played a doubleheader against High Tide’s second team.  In the first game, we were the home team.  We came into the bottom of the last inning down by 9 runs.  But we scored 10 to come back and win!  The winning blast was a grand slam by John Coleman, church planter and pastor of The Gathering Tree.  It was awesome!

We played pretty well the second game, especially defensively.  We had three perfect innings in a row, where we kept the ball in the infield.  And everyone (except for yours truly) was really hitting the ball well.  I think everyone had at least a couple hits.

High Tide was really a fun team to play.  They had a great attitude throughout the whole evening, just as it should be.

On Thursday we enter the playoffs.  We’re playing one game at 8:00 against High Tide’s other team, the one we beat in extra innings for our first win.  The tournament is single elimination.
My body is wearing down–I think it’s a good thing we’re near season’s end!

Published in: on August 29, 2007 at 7:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday Carolyn!

Today is Carolyn’s 26th birthday!  Unfortunately, she’s kind of bummed out because she also starts her night class for her Masters tonight, so we won’t have much chance to celebrate it.  But at least she’s off on Friday, so we’re spending the day together to celebrate.

Happy birthday, Carolyn!!!

Published in: on August 29, 2007 at 7:01 am  Comments (2)  

New Passengers at the Training Station

Last night we had orientation for parents who are new to the Training Station, the preschool that serves as a ministry of CrossWay.  What a great turnout!  I didn’t expect more than a few families, but it seems like there were about 40 people there.  It was nice getting to meet some of the parents, even though some of them warned me about their children.  One couple even said, “We apologize in advance!”  It’s probably not a coincidence that all the parents who said things like this are parents of two-year-olds!

One thing that was pretty cool was running into a guy I used to work for, about eight years ago.  Now he’s married and has a couple kids, and his son is starting at the Training Station, so I guess I’ll see him around throughout the year.

It’s already looking like it’s going to be a fun and exciting year at the Training Station!  Last year I didn’t really have much opportunity to get to know the kids or their parents, but this year I’ll be able to be much more involved and hopefully get to know the families.  Work is always a lot more fun when you’ve got little kids there for entertainment!

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  

And It Ain’t Even Started Yet

Carolyn had Open House for her kindergarten class the other day.  One little guy came in with his mom, looked at the play centers, observed the stuff on the walls, talked with Carolyn, and then exclaimed: “I’m glad I’m in this class!”

(His comment rings in stark contrast with the little boy last year who–after about a month of school–wore a sullen expression as he asked Carolyn: “Did I pick this class?”)

Published in: on August 27, 2007 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Life Stinks!”

Yesterday we had a good time at CrossWay.  One of our elders, LJ Timmons, shared a message with us called “Life Stinks!”  He shared some personal stories about the remarkably tough summer he’s had and how God used that experience to minister to him and through him.

The podcast will be up today or tomorrow, so you can listen to it there if you missed it yesterday.

Published in: on August 27, 2007 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

CrossWay On Purpose – Session 8

On Wednesday we had 8 people for CrossWay On Purpose. We’re near the end of the Bible passages we’ve been studying! In Session 8, we looked at Revelation 2:1-7, 8-11, 12-17, 18-29. These four passages cover a special message that Jesus had for four specific churches. And He has the same message for us today at CrossWay. Here’s what we found that Christ wants us to be and to do:

  • do good works
  • work hard
  • repent from sin
  • persevere
  • discern between true teachers & false teachers
  • hear what the Spirit says to the church and do what He says
  • not tolerate false prophets
  • keep love for Jesus #1
  • endure hardships for Jesus
  • not grow weary
  • not lose focus on basics
  • be spiritually rich
  • not be materialistic
  • not be afraid
  • be faithful
  • be disciples
  • not fear suffering
  • we will be tested
  • help save others
  • go out in the world without becoming worldly
  • stay true to our faith
  • not be enticed by immorality
  • hold each other accountable
  • not tolerate false teaching
  • avoid sexual immorality
  • avoid idolatry
  • hold fast until Jesus comes
  • be victorious
  • do God’s will to the end
  • continue doing good deeds
  • love
  • exercise faith
  • engage in service
  • grow & increase in good works
  • repent of immorality
  • keep our hearts & minds pure
  • know who we are & Whose we are

We closed with a time of prayer. Next week we’ll look at three more churches in Revelation, then we’ll move on to the next phase of the study.

Published in: on August 24, 2007 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment