Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lots to Celebrate

The old Church of the Living God building in Stokesdale
In April of 2000, Crossroads began regular weekly worship celebrations.  We met in this building, the old building of the Church of the Living God.  Because they worship on Saturdays, they allowed us to use this building on Sundays.  It was quite a blessing for us to have a place to gather.

Our journey has taken us to ten different Sunday morning meeting places!  There were many times that I wondered how God would work things out.

Now we are celebrating ten years of ministry in the Stokesdale community.  God has done a lot through this energetic group of believers.  We have hosted community worship services, had floats in the Christmas Parade, provided live music for Stokesdale Community Days, helped in the Good Samaritan Food Pantry, served at Stokesdale Business Association Business Fairs, hosted Fifth Sunday Sings, provided parade announcers for parades in Stokesdale and Summerfield, given away pool noodles at two marinas on Belews Lake, baptized in lakes and church sanctuaries, sent youth on out-of-state mission trips, sent adults on mission trips domestically and internationally, and, well the list goes on...

Connection Point, November 2009, beginning the up fit

On Easter Sunday this year we moved to a new place called Connection Point.  Because the church owns the building, we have many new opportunities to serve.  We want it to be a place where people connect -- with God, one another and the community.

We are celebrating what God has done, and looking forward to what God will do in the next ten years!

 So, on Sunday morning, October 10, 2010 at 10:00, we are celebrating 10 years of God at work.  It's gonna be a blast!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What we can do

We have to work together.  A young man at our worship celebration yesterday told a story about teamwork.  As an Army recruit, he has begun his training.  And he has always tried to do his best.  He wants to outwork all the other recruits -- be the fastest, strongest.

His drill instructor shared a key insight with him.  "On the battlefield, it doesn't matter what you can do.  It matters what y'all can do."  After hearing this he was ready to help his fellow soldiers through the obstacle course.  That helped the team.

What a great lesson for all of life.  We are doing nearly everything with others.  When we work together, the job is better all the way around.

We also need to be on the lookout for the enemy who would divide us.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What about Ground Zero?

There has been no shortage of opinions about the effort to build a mosque near the site where the Twin Towers once stood.

I see a couple of issues here.  First, there are legal issues.  Apparently the interested parties have every legal right to build the mosque.  With freedom of religion in our country, everyone has equal protection under the law, and there is no legal reason to deny the construction.

The other issue I see is one of philosophy.  Members of this religion have repeatedly stated that they want to destroy our country.  I do not know of any other religion which has made a similar declaration.  The Communists after WWII and the Fascists during WWII clearly wanted to destroy the United States, but they were more easily recognized as national movements.  They were identified as governments, not a religious group. 

Here we have religious extremists who want to destroy us, and  have repeatedly acted out violence against us.  It seems that they may be preying upon our niceness.  We are too nice and tolerant to stop them as they infiltrate our society with the intention of destroying us from without and within.

As  planes were enroute to destroy the twin towers, terrorists told the passengers to keep their seats, and no one would be hurt.  They preyed upon our trust, naivete and goodness.  Those cooperative passengers perished, along with nearly 3,000 others. 

The philosophy in which lying and treachery are justified as means of advancing a religious war is dangerous.  Clearly those who carried out the 9/11 attacks in 2001 were willing to do and say anything to achieve their goal.  Those bombings were part of the holy war against the United States.

Ideally, the mosque would voluntarily be build in another location.  But I find that unlikely. 

We are left with two questions: 
Are all (or many) Muslims really out to kill those of different faiths? 
How much freedom will we grant to those who seek to kill us?