11-1 and at the Top of the Pack!

Wow: 11-1!  Dallas did it last night–they put away the now 10-2 Packers.  That’s amazing that in 12 games so far this year, their only loss was at the hands of the undefeated Patriots.  Had to miss this game, but it sure is fun even just to read about it!  You can check out the recap here.

The only problem now is that if the Cowboys have to face Green Bay in the playoffs, Brett Favre–who left with an injury in the second quarter–is going to come out looking for revenge!

That would be so cool if Dallas wins the rest of their games, which they could definitely do.  They’re heavily favored in each match up, but in the NFL you can never know for sure.

Go Cowboys!

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 10:41 am  Comments (2)  

Bible Study

A friend of mine in Tennessee recently shared some great thoughts about Bible study on her blog. I’d encourage you to check it out here.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Wanna Box? Oh Yeah, and the Peace Lamp

With the arrival of our Mennonite peace lamp, my office is now officially filled to capacity with boxes. Boxes of mugs, letterhead, envelopes, more mugs, business cards, greeting cards, more mugs, new candles, used candles, parts for the sign, the peace lamp, pens, Bibles, and more mugs. It looks like I’m moving into my office.

Anyway, the peace lamp is an oil lamp to light in church as a reminder of how important it is to pray for peace. Here’s a shot of it:

Published in: on November 29, 2007 at 7:44 am  Leave a Comment  

CrossWay Church Mugs (“mugs” as a noun–not a verb)

Our CrossWay Church mugs came in today! Here they are, but once again, they’re taken with my phone so they’re low-quality pics:

Published in: on November 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm  Comments (4)  

Rhema

I’m now sitting in the office where I had a conversation a couple years ago that has deeply impacted my whole life.

Pastor Joe was the previous pastor at this church, and this was his office.  One year when the local ministerial group was planning a community worship service, Pastor Joe and I, along with the music minister from another nearby church, were in charge of planning the music portion of the service.  So the three of us met one day in this office.

We talked about the music program, and of course we talked about tons of other things as well.  One of those things was rhema (pronounced like ray-ma).  I’d never heard the word before.  Pastor Joe explained to me that it’s a Greek word used to describe how God sometimes takes a piece of Scripture and uses it to speak loud and clear to a person.

Many, many times I’ve read in the Bible the openings to the apostle Paul’s letters.  He usually greets his readers with words such as “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” or something along those lines.  But one time I was reading 1 Thessalonians and those words really jumped out at me.  It actually startled me.  Rather than merely comprehending the meaning of those words with my mind, I felt God actually giving me His grace and His peace.  The words became personal to me, and I experienced them in a deeply real way.

There have been other times when I’ve been reading in Scripture about how much God loves me.  Sometimes the words just pass through my mind.  But other times it’s as though God shakes me and says, “Hey, I’m talking to you!  I love you this much!”  It’s not just God’s Word in a general way–it becomes God’s Word specifically to me.

When this happens, it’s a rhema moment.

And I’ve discovered that these rhema moments are the richest moments of my life.  These are the times when God’s presence with me is most vivid.  These are the times when I can really understand why the Bible says that it’s alive and active (see Hebrews 4:12).  These are the times when I can really understand why certain people through history have said that they crave God’s Word even more than food or water.

These rhema moments are addictive in a healthy way.  They make me desire God more.  They bring me back eagerly to the Bible, over and over and over again.

Recently I realized something (fittingly, in a rhema experience) that I’ve known subconsciously for a while but never really thought about consciously: My purpose in life is to experience these rhema moments so I can share them with other people, so that they may be drawn into their own rhema experiences.

When I have a rhema moment, I can tell people about it.  There’s certainly value in that.  But what’s even more valuable is to help move people into a position where they can personally experience rhema for themselves.  That is something that only God can give them.  When I ride a really adventurous roller coaster, I can describe the experience to someone who has never ridden any roller coaster.  But the only way for them to really understand it and enjoy it for themselves is to ride the same roller coaster.  Hearing about it may whet their appetite, but only experiencing it can satisfy that appetite.  That’s how it is with rhema.

Discovering this purpose has really given me focus, and renewed my passion for doing what God created me to do.

Published in: on November 28, 2007 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Christmas KidsFest

Registration has already filled up for our December 8th outreach event!

On Saturday, December 8th, CrossWay is hosting Christmas KidsFest for the families at our preschool.  For four hours, we’ll do crafts, games, snacks, and other fun Christmas stuff with the kids while their parents go Christmas shopping, take a nap, or whatever they feel like doing.

Since this is our first shot at this, we drew the registration cap at the first 20 children who were signed up.  We began publicizing it yesterday, and this morning it filled up–we even have a waiting list!

I’m so excited about this chance to start bridging the gap between the church and the preschool.  I get to enjoy hanging out with these children every day, and I’m looking forward to my friends from church having the opportunity to get to know my little friends from the Training Station!

Published in: on November 27, 2007 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Paper Stuff

Don’t know if I ever mentioned it on here, but we finally got our letterhead, business cards, notecards, etc. last week.  Here’s a glimpse of them, though it’s taken with my phone so it’s not high quality:

Published in: on November 27, 2007 at 7:54 am  Comments (4)  

Oh Yeah, That Clear Stuff

This afternoon I was sitting in my office when I heard this loud BONK!! coming from the glass doors out front. The sound was followed by a mother’s voice gently explaining, “Honey, that’s a glass window.”

Sure enough, this little one-year-old feller had made a noble attempt at passing right through the glass door.

Not that I thought it was funny or anything. (C’mon, the kid was fine–he didn’t even cry.)

Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 2:41 pm  Comments (2)  

The Mission of the Church: Make Disciples

Yesterday at CrossWay we talked about the mission of the church.  The church’s mission can be summed up in two words: make disciples.

Jesus said this very clearly, several times.  He said that His Father sent Him on a mission, and He’s sending us on the same mission (John 20:21).  The mission?  To make disciples.  It’s as simple and complex as that.  The most famous and widely used example of Jesus assigning us this mission is found in Matthew 28:18-20.

Our motto at CrossWay is “Loving God, Loving People.”  In both parts of that phrase, the word “loving” can be a verb and an adjective.  That is, it can mean “God is a loving God,” as well as “loving God is what we do at CrossWay.”  The second part can mean “we are a loving people,” as well as “loving people is what we do at CrossWay.”  Both meanings are fully intended.

Loving God.  Loving people.  That’s how we make disciples.

There are five things we encourage people at the church to do in order to accomplish the mission:

(1) Love God by worshiping Him with the rest of His church.

(2) Love God by worshiping Him through daily spiritual disciplines (such as Bible study, prayer, meditation, etc.).

(3) Love people by participating in a Christian community, such a small group.

(4) Love people by serving them.  This is ministry.

(5) Love God and love people by inviting others to join us in the first four things!  This is how we live as followers of Christ.  This is how we make disciples.

Just as a football team is on a mission to win the Super Bowl one game, one score, one play at a time, so the church is on a mission to make disciples one prayer, one conversation, one invitation at a time.

Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 7:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Enchanted

Yesterday Carolyn and I took Pastor Daryl’s daughters (ages 8 and 5) to see the new movie Enchanted.  It was very clever and creative!  It was princessy enough for the girls, but also had enough dialog and subplots geared toward adults to keep me entertained.  Carolyn is already looking forward to it coming out on DVD!  It’ll never make my list of favorite movies, but it’s definitely a good movie worth watching.  (And I’m pretty sure it’s made Carolyn’s list!)

Published in: on November 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment