Monday, February 22, 2010


Reading Exodus 33 today, I noticed again what Moses asked of God.  At this point, the Israelites have rebelled by making the golden calf.  God is so disgusted that he threatens not to accompany his people on the journey to the Promised Land.  Moses pushes back, and asks that God reconsider. 

In v. 17 God says, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am plesed with you and I know you by name."

Now, if I were Moses, at this point I would say, Cool, glad we reached this understanding.

But Moses says, "Now show me your glory."

Moses knows there is a whole lot more to God than meets the eye.  He has seen God reveal himself in a burning bush, ten plagues, a pillar of fire and cloud, a parted sea and water from a rock.  Even with all these spectacular revelations, Moses knows that God has more to reveal.

He dares to ask God to show his glory.  I like Moses' boldness.  I need that same kind of boldness.  As God does miraculous things for us at Crossroads, I need to ask him for more. 

Show me your glory, O Lord.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympic effort

The Olympic games always take me back to childhood.  The music alone is so friendly and familiar.  It's fun to watch all the competitors.  The stories of the athletes tell of dedication and support from families.  I was especially touched by the Canadian who won the first ever gold medal earned by a Canadian on Canadian soil.  This athlete's older brother has cerebral palsy and serves as his biggest fan.  It was great to see them celebrate together.

But some athletes pay a very high price for their success.  They spend years of their lives, sacrificing everything but the sport.  Some athletes only see their parents a couple of times a year.  They get up at 4 a.m. to train, then go to school.  After school they train some more, then stay up late to keep up with their studies.  That level of sacrifice is impressive, but I wonder how many of these folks regret what they have missed.  Not only do their relationships suffer, but they miss out on a lot of the fun of youth.

Is it worth it to win an Olympic medal, if you give up your childhood?  I don't think you can make up for the lost years.  Most athletes never receive medals.  After giving your whole life for something, it must leave you empty when it's all over, with or without a medal.

I'm sure many dedicated athletes can overcome these challenges, and live a balanced life through their training.  But to me, many of these training programs look way out of balance and can keep someone from having a normal life in the long run.

Yet to compete at the highest level, it looks like you have to go for broke.  What would it look like if we went for broke in loving Jesus and loving others?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Getting There!

Today we heard from the Stokesdale town planner that our site plan has been approved!  I can't believe how long this has taken, but at least we can move ahead with the process of up fitting our new building, Connection Point.

From here we apply for permits for our building process.  I think this should be fairly straight forward, because we have been working with the authorities in the whole planning process.  We will be constructing walls, upgrading the septic system and adding to the HVAC system. 

The possibilities are exciting for this new community gathering place in Stokesdale!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ten Years

On Feb. 13, 2000 Crossroads held its first ever public worship celebration.  We rented the Stokesdale School cafeteria, imported some singers, and invited a Sunday school class from Eden to come boost our numbers.  We had done plenty of praying and advertising, and trusted God to show up. 

In the weeks before, we had had about 16" of snow.  Seems like we had four good snows that Jan.  I was loving it, when it dawned on me that weather could put a damper on our Feb. 13 launch.  Suddenly I began praying for God to rein in the weather.  He did.

It was a cool, damp day, but nothing frozen.  We had greeters with umbrellas to help people get inside.  Our children's Sunday school was held in a wide hallway, down from the cafeteria.  We did not have access to any classrooms.

I was nervous, of course, as I preached on "Getting the Love You Want."  Lisa and I sang with the guest vocalists, and we were accompanied by performance tracks.  It was a lot of fun, actually. 

Now we've been at it for ten years, and we've met in ten different locations.  Soon we will move to Connection Point, a building we are up fitting for worship and ministry. 

A lot has happened in the last ten years.  These have been the best years of my life, and I have seen God at work the whole time!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Plans can change...

After an entire weekend without power at my house, I am learning a few things.  First, I can't count on things always working out like I plan.  Even the best laid plans are subject  In James 4, we see that we have to acknowledge that our ideas for the future are also subject to God's will.  That's why we throw around the phrase, "Lord willing..."  We know that something can happen to change our plans.

I also learned that communication is different than it used to be.  I was w/o power from 4:15 Friday afternoon until about 6:30 last night.  We had watched the first half of the Super Bowl at the home of some friends, and got back to an electrified home (YES!), but we had no cable.  I had to listen to the second half on an AM radio.

Worse than that, I could not check email or even use our digital phone.  Good thing we have cell phones.  When we got up this morning the cable was working too.  Finally.  Of course, with an appt in GSO first thing this morning, I did not have time to get connected right away.

I would have thought that a weekend away from digital communication would not be such a big deal.  It's probably not.  It just feels weird.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Half Done

I finished Getting Things Done last night, thanks to snow on the ground and more time to read.  The last 3 chapters of the book show how practical organization can lead to greater accomplishments.

He had some profound things to say about procrastination, but I'll have to blog about that later.  What I want to do today is collect all my "stuff" and put it in my in-box.  Stuff, as David Allen defines it, is anything you might want to do something about sometime.  That's such a broad category.

This includes projects at work, projects at home, ideas for developing relationships, trade magazines to read, letters to write, items to get at Wal-Mart, things to repair, etc., etc.  In other words, we can get a handle on EVERYTHING we care about doing, or might care about doing at some point.

This task alone seems daunting to me.  But, he says, if you can get a system that captures everything, then you can feel good about what you are not doing. 

I fall victim to the uneasy feeling that I should be doing something else right now.  There is always the possibility that I should be engaged in something else:  a book I should read, a blog I should write, a book of the Bible I should study, a person I should pray for, a situation that needs my attention.

When I get it all organized, then I can feel good about what I'm not doing.  Then I can really focus on the task at hand, rather than being plagued by a vague sense of foreboding.  "Oh yeah, I need to remember to do that...and that...and that..."

As Allen puts it, the human mind should be engaged in thinking about things, not thinking of things.