Politicians Can Save Us ... Right?!

I have been thinking a lot about politics and culture lately. How could one not? It’s stormy out there. It’s hard to ignore the thunder, lighting, and driving rain.

The President has found that brashness and demagoguery sells really well in our culture. The Democrats are taking note, and the rhetoric is heating up as we head toward the 2020 elections. Twenty-four-hour news channels have found that arguments and panic-infused headlines are good for business, and it seems that we've decided that the best use of social media is to offend people or to declare how offended we feel.

It is ugly right now … and violent too. So now I feel worn out, sick, and afraid. How about you?

I ask myself, “Will it ever change? What can I do? Who will fix this!?”

Psst, hey guys, I think we’ve been hijacked.

Here is what I see. In America, politics has become our god and our game. We are encouraged to root for the Reds or the Blues, to pledge our allegiance to the politicians, and to watch/listen to our prescribed news sources for our talking points and marching orders.

We are told that we have to. "Don't you see that they are evil and that their policies are killing us? The future and hope of our country (AND THE WORLD!!!!) lies in the balance of us choosing the right occupant for the Oval office. This is too important to not pay attention to."

Hijacked.

But my sisters and brothers in Christ, don’t we already have a savior? Don’t we already have a place to find hope? We already have a King, and his name is Jesus. And Jesus wasn’t worried about building a bigger military, restructuring student loans, or using pep-rallies for re-election. He didn’t seek to become the world's best Caesar by co-opting the world's tools of power. His plan? He trusted God the Father, and gave his life in an act of ultimate love.

I am re-reading one of my favorite books, “Beauty will Save the World,” by Rev. Brian Zahnd. It is a great reminder that the power of God in Jesus came from the mysterious beauty of his self-giving love on the cross. It is the beauty of that act of love, not the logic of it, that gives it power and meaning. And as a result, our lives become beautiful to the degree in which we engage in that which is beautiful — forgiveness and self-giving love.

So what do we do to combat this icky, slimy thing we call pop-political culture? Should we craft better arguments? Prove a point with a meme? … How about we give beauty a try? How about we spread Christ through acts of self-giving beauty, and then trust that God will use that to make all things new?

#JesusforLORD #Beauty2020

They did that on the moon?!

As the 50th anniversary of the moon landing has come and gone, there has been a lot of buzz about the event. Hopefully, you were able to catch an airing of the documentary, Apollo 11. For me, it was an exciting and mesmerizing look at an event that happened before I was born.

With all of the coverage of the event, one interesting detail was left out of most of the coverage that I saw. It was a footnote in an article that caught my attention ... Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon! Well, he was still in the Eagle lander, but we’re going to count that.

As an elder in the Presbyterian Church, Aldrin was given consecrated bread and wine to take with him on the 240,000 mile trip. Before Armstrong and he went for a stroll on the surface of our nearest celestial neighbor, he took the bread and the cup and remembered the sacrifice of Christ.

“I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.” Aldrin recalled.

The event was not broadcasted, or talked about because of a surge of secularism that brought pressure for the government agency to refrain from participating in religious activities.

As a follower of Jesus, I find it amazing and inspiring that before one of humanity’s biggest accomplishments, one of the astronauts remembered one of God’s greatest acts.

As we venture into the world and beyond, as individuals, and as the human family, may we also not forget to bring Christ with us everywhere we go. And may we not forget that one death of a man, was one giant act of salvation for mankind.

~Pastor Kyle Burrows

https://www.history.com/news/buzz-aldrin-communion-apollo-11-nasa

Give Like No Other

Do you have control of your finances? Or are your finances controlling you?  According to Dave Ramsey, taking control of your money is 20 percent brain power and 80 percent behavior. Just because you might know something, doesn’t mean a hill of beans if you don’t put it into practice. 

What incentive do you have to become financially stable?  To be debt free and have ready cash to buy things is great, but that really is not the end goal. It is so we can give like no other. We were all created in God’s image. God is the biggest giver of all.  If you don’t believe that, then you should read John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Being made in his image, we have the potential for being great givers as well.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend Financial Peace, I would encourage you to try and find the next available class and go.  It is a behavior worth putting into practice.

Content borrowed from  Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.

 

Give Like No Other

Do you have control of your finances? Or are your finances controlling you?  According to Dave Ramsey, taking control of your money is 20 percent brain power and 80 percent behavior. Just because you might know something, doesn’t mean a hill of beans if you don’t put it into practice. 

What incentive do you have to become financially stable?  To be debt free and have ready cash to buy things is great, but that really is not the end goal. It is so we can give like no other. We were all created in God’s image. God is the biggest giver of all.  If you don’t believe that, then you should read John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Being made in his image, we have the potential for being great givers as well.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend Financial Peace, I would encourage you to try and find the next available class and go.  It is a behavior worth putting into practice.

 

Content borrowed from  Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.

Thank YOU, Crossroads Sustainers!

Thank You! I am overwhelmed by the commitment of the Crossroads’ family.

It is because of your discipline and generosity, we are “making church more like family,” and contributing to our local, international, as well as global communities. I wish to express my gratitude for your significant and disciplined support.

I am reminded of Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi; specifically, Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Paul is thanking the Philippians for their generosity and expressing his confidence that God will bless them for it.

I, too, believe God will bless you exponentially for your willingness to give back some of your treasures.

I can assure you that all of us on staff and the Lead Team will diligently work at stewarding our resources well and, going forward, reclaiming God’s city as His Kingdom.

~ Ann Krieger, Crossroads Finance Secretary

What Does it Mean to be a Friend of God?

When we think of friendship we think of a relationship where there is trust and commitment. People equally sharing experiences and confidential information. People who have common interests and perspectives. A friend is somebody who always wants the best for you. When you win, they win.

In The Bible (James 2:23, Isaiah 41:8), God refers to Abraham and his descendants as his friends. Almighty, all-knowing, creator of the heavens and earth refers to a mortal, limited man as his friend. Someone who shared his interests and morals. Someone who was always for him and had his best interests in the center of his life. Since God does not show favoritism, if we choose to be for God, as Abraham did, then that statement is true for us as well. His word says he has literally withheld nothing from us. There is nothing he would not do for us.

Much like a friendship with the people around us, there has to be our commitment in the mix too. A true friendship is not one-sided. True friends are loyal, dependable, and make sacrifices for each other. When put to the test, Abraham proved to be loyal when he was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. Though God did not make him follow through with the deed, God saw his heart and that he would withhold nothing from him. Like wise, God shows that he is loyal to us by sacrificing his son so we would never have to be separated from him again. God looked at us and said we were worth it. God is loyal, to the point of death, to you and I. God wants to know if you will return the token. Will you share his morals and perspectives? Will you have intimate conversations with him and share your heart? Will you be loyal, dependable and trustworthy? Are you for him?

~Jennifer Graham, Crossroads Church Congregational Care

Gospel Families are Small but They're Not Small Groups

Often times I will get asked what the difference is between a gospel family and a small group. I think the first thing that needs to be said is that small groups are not bad nor are they not unhelpful.

In fact, small groups can be a great first step that new Christians can begin to take when creating a life where there is an orbit with other followers of Jesus outside of Sunday morning.

However, small groups often only become a place where people see each other regularly, but yet do not implant themselves as missionaries into the community together.

What the Bible tells us about the early church is that there were groups of people of different ages, background, and seasons of life who came together to do life with one another in an intentional way and also to be planted as missionaries within their community.

Gospel family is the attempt to live as these groups of missionaries who are growing closer to each other and to Jesus as well as being on mission for Jesus in the community in a specific way.

What we at Crossroads have found over the last eight years is that when someone is vested into a gospel family that their maturity in Christ increases exponentially compared to someone who simply comes to Sunday morning worship.

Lots of times there are Christians who already have this missionary mindset and lifestyle and just need to put a name on it. Gospel family is that name and it is the most important rhythm that we engage in at Crossroads.

If you have any questions about a gospel family or what it means to be a part of one, I would love to find some time to talk with you.

~ Pastor Chad Pullins