Wrestling with Pain and Hardship: One Look Behind the Curtain

How do we make sense out of pain and hardship?

I recently read about a boy who was born without the ability to use one of the joints in his thumbs. On the surface, this might seem to be a relatively small disability. But taking into account how often we use our thumbs, and the complex movements we sometimes require them to make, we might begin to see what a difficult trial this would have been for a young boy. And this is particularly true of one who, in his words, “longed to make things, ships, houses, engines. Many sheets of cardboard and pairs of scissors I spoiled, only to turn from my hopeless failures in tears.”

I’ll admit that I find stories like this one hard to hear. Perhaps it’s because I have three kids of my own, and I reflexively imagine what it would be like for one of them to face the same difficulty. It would not be easy for me to see one of them crying with frustration and sorrow after failing again and again to do what most of us can accomplish with relative ease.

Of course I would hate it. Of course I would question God. Of course I would wonder why it had to be that way.

Treasuring More Than Parenting Warm Fuzzies

Last weekend my son Gideon celebrated his first birthday.   As I spent time reflecting on our first twelve months as a family of three, the well-known words of Luke 2:19 came to mind, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Perhaps like me you’ve read this verse with a

Songs and Scenes: October 23, 2016


Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. We’ve included a link to a Spotify playlist of Sunday’s songs (when available) so you can enjoy listening to them throughout your week. This week’s liturgy recap features photos by Dan Gill.

Invested in Leadership

version-2The Crossing is strategically investing in pastoral and chaplaincy leadership in Kenya. This builds the capacity of church leadership with solid theological training. It also provides better prepared chaplains for police and army units. These men can especially impact areas of culture where historically there has been a tendency for graft.

The Crossing provides scholarships for pastors and chaplains to obtain theological education at Covenant College of Theological Studies and Leadership in Nairobi. We congratulate the recent graduating class of pastors and chaplains.

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-12-15-52-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-22-at-12-15-57-pmJoel Kavala serves Covenant as Academic Dean, while Stephen Kiura serves as Principal. These men also serve on our Kenya Advisors Council (KAC). This group of Kenyan pastors and missionaries help us monitor and connect with partner projects in Kenya.

Joel is a former scholarship recipient and candidate for Masters graduation from Westminster Theological Seminary Uganda (WTSU is now in the process of becoming accredited as ARTS: Africa Reformation Theological Seminary.) His hope is to obtain PhD education through a low residency seminary in South Africa.

Scholarships for theological education in Uganda and Nairobi are generously provided through Kenya Christlike Leadership Program (KCLP) which was founded in 2009 by Crossing members concerned with transforming communities in Kenya through the gospel. One means of achieving this is enlarging the Christlike leadership capacity of key members of the church and community.


Getting Ready for Sunday October 23 at The Crossing

Running Race of Life graphic

This week we continue our sermon series, “Running the Race of Your Life,” as Keith Simon preaches a sermon entitled, “How I Got Spiritual Growth Wrong” from 2 Peter 1:3–12. The Scripture reads,

Should We Applaud Military Personnel At Sporting Events?

It happens at almost every football game. A member of the armed forces, often someone who has been in a combat zone, is introduced and the crowd responds with a rousing ovation. That’s a good thing, yes? Well of course it’s always appropriate to thank people who serve their country at great cost to themselves and their family.

But Sebastian Junger’s book Tribe casts such scenes in a different light. Junger, a journalist who has written extensively on war and those who fight, asks whether applauding those who serve in the military is related to a problem as serious as Post Stress Traumatic Disorder (PTSD)?

Why Do We Sing In Church?

13937815_10154007536976725_405577530640927386_oI get it. You don’t like music in general. Or you don’t like the music selected for a particular worship service. Or you find some of it hard to sing along to for whatever reason. And so you ask a reasonable question:

Why do we need to sing in church anyway?

Oh sure, you understand why we have things like readings from the Bible and sermons. God’s truth changes lives. And so it only makes sense that we need to read that truth in the Bible and be taught what it means and how it applies to our lives. So far so good.

And you might acknowledge that praying makes sense as well. After all, who doesn’t need God’s guidance and help for all kinds of things? You might even think that it’s good for us to admit to God all the ways we blow it with him and with others. And so you don’t normally have a problem with praying in church either.

Still, none of this necessarily has to involve music or singing. And yet, pretty much every church throughout history has regularly included those things. How come?

Let me suggest at least two reasons: