Your Tough Questions: Podcast Edition

Just so ya know, the podcast from “Your Tough Questions” on Sunday is now available.  You can access it using one of the CrossWay Sermon Podcast links on the right side of this screen.

Published in: on April 22, 2008 at 5:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Embarrassing Typo

As someone who has earned the reputation of being something of a typo sniper, I guess it’s my duty to publicly confess my own embarrassing typos.

The elders at CrossWay are working on overhauling our church’s Constitution & By-Laws.  At a meeting a couple weeks ago I gave our elders a current copy with proposed changes.  Today, to my great shame, I discovered that I’d written in there that everyone who trusts in Jesus “will physically go with Him to heave.”

Of course when I make a typo it has to be so big it’s blasphemous.

Dang.

Published in: on April 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm  Comments (3)  

Your Tough Questions About God

At CrossWay yesterday we wrapped up the “Tough Questions About God” series by fielding questions that people submitted.  Two of our elders (as in church leaders, not just old guys) joined with me in attempting to tackle some of the questions.

The questions we received covered topics like the origin of God, what happens to people who never hear about Jesus, the uniqueness of the apostles’ martyrdom, grace, the church, evolution, atheism, and heaven.  We received some really interesting questions, which made for some really interesting research!

I haven’t yet checked the quality of the recording (none of us wore a mic) but hopefully it turned out well and the podcast can be uploaded soon.

Published in: on April 21, 2008 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Old Classic Revived

Carolyn gave her kindergarten students an assignment earlier this week: draw a picture of what you want to be when you grow up.  One little guy decided he wanted to be a rock star, as you can see below.  On the right is one of his friends, playing drums.  In the middle is another friend playing the flute.  The big figure on the left is this boy himself, singing and playing guitar.

This one deserves a closeup.  The picture below is the same drawing, zoomed in.  The blue stuff is a speech bubble.  Inside are the words that this little boy is rockin’ out to–the old classic rock song “Slow Ride” by Foghat.  The boy demonstrated for Carolyn by singing what you can read below in little kid spelling: “Slow ride/ mmm mmm (that’s the guitar part)/ take it easy”:

It’s moments like this that make her job worth it!

Published in: on April 18, 2008 at 5:29 am  Comments (5)  

Bible, Baseball, Ballet, and Birch Beer

Last night I went to Greenwood, Delaware to speak to a youth group there.  It’s been a little while since I’ve been involved in youth ministry, and it sure did bring back a lot of memories!  The message was from Daniel 1-3, about Azariah, Mishael, and Hananiah–better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

We looked at their story as it might be presented in a movie.  It opens at the climax of the action, in Daniel 3, with a powerful king threatening to kill them if they refuse to worship an idol he’s set up.  Then we move to their response, and flashback to the events in their lives that led up that point and how they developed a faith that was strong enough to withstand such a difficult test.

Bottom line: their passion for God burned hotter than the flames of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace.  The king could only see Jesus in the flames, but the other three men saw Him at work throughout their lives as they fanned the flames of devotion day by day.  If we nurture our devotion to God in the little moments, we’ll have the strength to remain devoted to Him in the big moments.

After youth group Carolyn and I drove to Grotto Pizza in Seaford.  Grotto’s has such excellent pizza.  And the birch beer is good, too.  There’s just something about birch beer that perfectly complements that kind of pizza that has wide, thin slices with cheese oozing off of it.  Not only was the pizza delicious, but they had basketball and baseball games showing on TVs all over the place, including a practically life size screen behind the bar!  They even had a basketball game playing on a TV in the bathroom.  How cool is that?!?  I was curious about whether or not they had a TV in the women’s room.  Carolyn said there was.  It was set to Animal Planet.

As I watched the Orioles-White Sox game on the TV behind Carolyn (while trying not to look too much like I was watching it), she was watching the Red Sox-Yankees game on the TV behind me.  I didn’t even know that game was on (or I would’ve switched seats), and I had no idea she was watching it until she told me later on.  She never ceases to amaze me.  Coming into the top of the fifth inning, New York was up on Boston 7-3.  The Red Sox tallied up six runs in a fifth-inning explosion to take a 9-7 lead.  Meanwhile Carolyn was watching all this behind me, and never let on!  She remained perfectly expressionless as she watched the tables turn in a matchup between the two teams with the oldest and greatest rivalry in the American League!  She didn’t even let out a “Whoa!” or “Dude!”  or “Aww!” or anything!  After we left, the Yanks came back and won.  Not that Carolyn would care.

Carolyn’s assistant is a huge baseball fan.  Her husband got her into it.  I need to talk with that guy and get some advice about how to do that.  I once met another guy who got his wife into football.  Now there’s a how-to manual that would fly off the bookshelves!

To be fair, Carolyn does occasionally watch sports with me.  We went to the Shorebirds game last Saturday and had a great time.  Tippy Martinez, a pitcher for the Orioles when I was a kid, was there.  It was an exciting game!  The score was tied at one apiece in the top of the ninth with two outs.  Lakewood tried to score the go-ahead run on a shot to deep center, but their baserunner was thrown out on a close play at the plate.  In the bottom of the ninth, the Shorebirds moved a guy over to third and won the game on a passed ball.  It was cool!  Carolyn was just glad the game didn’t go into extra innings–or “overtime” as she calls it.

Anyway, last night at Grotto’s we worked out an arrangement that she’ll go to ballgames with me if I go to ballets with her.  That’s a pretty good deal.  Ballets are pretty funny, especially when the guys in tights come out and start jumping around.

Published in: on April 17, 2008 at 9:38 am  Comments (4)  

Eavesdropping At Preschool

This morning one of the little guys at the Training Station came in frowning. The following conversation ensued:

Me: “Oh no, did you leave your smile at home?”

Little Guy: “What?”

Me: “Your smile is missing. Did you forget to bring it?”

Little Guy: “No, I turned it invisible.”

Me: “You turned it invisible?”

Little Guy: “Yeah.” (Points to forehead.) “It’s hiding right here between my eyebrows.”

In other conversations overheard around the Training Station this morning:

Little Girl: “It’s hot out here.”

Mrs. Pat: “Yes it is, but this morning it was so cold I had to scrape my car window to get off the frost.”

Little Girl: “This morning my mom had to scrape her car window to get off the bird poop.”

One more:

Mrs. Grace: “I need you to stop running around in the classroom!”

Little Dude: “I need to get the bean out of my nose!”

Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Best Video Ever

This is totally the best video ever:

Published in: on April 15, 2008 at 9:22 am  Comments (5)  

Don’t All Religions Lead to God?

At CrossWay Church yesterday we had the fourth week in our series “Tough Questions About God.” The question for the week: Don’t all religions lead to God?

This is actually a strange question because it defies all logic, and we don’t apply this line of thinking to any other area of our lives, yet so many would answer this question with a “yes.”

It’s interesting that every major world religion would tell you that their belief system is the only way to God, yet many people who don’t subscribe to any of them would tell you that they’re all paths to God. How weird is that?

If you look at the beliefs of religions like Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., it’s pretty clear that they go different directions. They all lead to a particular destination, but they’re all different. And each one will tell you so.

Something else I find interesting is that so many people say the gospel is exclusive because it claims Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said this Himself in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Pretty exclusive, right?

It might seem so until you consider that the invitation is open to everyone. Jesus also said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” And again: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Despite its bad reputation, Christianity is actually the most inclusive faith in the world because it’s open to everyone! This reality still offends our postmodern sensibilities because we live in a time and place where it’s okay to believe in anything as long as you don’t claim it’s actually true. But Jesus remains the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way to the Father. And His invitation is open to everyone.

Published in: on April 14, 2008 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Nest of Facts

One of the preschool classes at the Training Station is learning about birds.  They’re also learning what a fact is.  So they put the two together and made a “Nest of Facts” about birds.  A few highlights:

  • “Birds fly.”
  • “Birds have feathers.”
  • “Birds make their nests out of straw and hay.”
  • “Pelicans eat fish in the water.  They catch them with their big mouths.”
  • “They like eating worms and bird feeder stuff.”
  • “They say, ‘Tweet, tweet.'”
Published in: on April 11, 2008 at 5:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Talk About Growing Up Too Fast

One of the little guys at the Training Station was away with his family in another state for about three months.  Earlier this week the kids in his class learned that he was coming back.

On the way to school Monday, another little boy in the class was telling his mom about how his friend was returning.  He got to thinking about the time that had lapsed and said to his mom: “Do you think he’s all grown up now?  Maybe he’s in high school!”

It’s funny to catch a glimpse of how little kids try to piece things together and make sense of the world around them.

One of Carolyn’s kindergarten students this week got really excited when he realized that Carolyn couldn’t read his mind.  All day long he talked gleefully about how she couldn’t tell what he was thinking.

Published in: on April 10, 2008 at 11:04 am  Comments (5)