June, 2015

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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Responding to the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

As you’ve probably heard, last Friday the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges recognized same-sex marriage as a right protected by the United States Constitution. For those Christians who ascribe to a biblical understanding of marriage—that it involves a unique union between one man and one woman—the ruling is a cause to think carefully about how to respond. No doubt that answer deserves much more than a single blog post, but here are at least a few broad points to consider:

Meet the New Boss…Yet Again

For the past few days, I’ve been reflecting on two passages of Scripture, the first nine verses of Genesis 11 and the opening lines from Psalm 2. What I find most interesting about the story of the Tower of Babel is that it represents the pride and achievement of mankind, the height and pinnacle of

Getting Ready for Sunday June 28th at The Crossing

Prepare

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Keith Simon continues our sermon series, “Life According to the Psalms,” with a sermon entitled “The King Worthy of Your Submission,” from Psalm 72. The Scripture reads,

432 Years or 23 Ears: Does it matter in eternity?

These tiny blocks are very precious to me. They represent far more than the $1.80 they cost me at my favorite gift store.

432 years

I was fortunate enough to attend a parenting seminar at The Crossing a few years back where two godly, wise women shared some insight on how to parent well. In particular, one of them walked up to the dry erase board in the old, tatty trailers and wrote 10,000. She explained that our parenting should be centered on things that will matter in 10,000 years.

I went home and immediately decided I wanted to remember this. This doesn’t just pertain to parenting – I want to remember this in all areas of my life. So I searched through the gift store for some way to decorate my house with this reminder to base my life on eternal things, not temporal things that will pass away. I found these blocks, and after a search through the basket, 432 was the highest number I could find so I went with that (same idea, right?). My search for how to decorate my house was over, but the lesson it was teaching me was just beginning.

Mini-Movie Review: Inside Out

MV5BOTgxMDQwMDk0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5OTg2NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Pixar strikes again. With its latest feature, Inside Out, the celebrated animation studio has once more managed to fashion a work that combines striking creativity with real insight into the human condition.

Inside Out renders our ever-changing internal experiences as a cleverly imagined world behind the eyes. The hub of this mindscape is the appropriately named Headquarters, in which a handful of personified emotions both cooperate and compete to shape the personality and actions of Riley, a young girl grappling with the challenges of her family’s cross-country move. The premise allows for a host of creative plot devices, including the Train of Thought, an indifferently guarded subconscious (with Riley’s fear of clowns among those locked inside), a studio that churns out nightly dream productions and a deep, dark chasm in which memories are discarded forever. The movie’s casting is nearly perfect, with Amy Poehler’s leading turn as Joy being a prime example. And Pixar’s ability to deliver captivating animation is, as usual, on full display.

Unless the Lord Builds Bedtime

As a parent of young adults – as well as an eight-year-old – I know firsthand how hard parenting can be. No matter how many parenting books you read or how much advice you seek from others, there are simply times when it feels like parenting is an unsolvable mystery. I really thought when my

A Prayer for Charleston (and us)

At last night’s worship night we used Psalm 23 as our guide, which shows us the seasons of life. Our lives are secure and yet endangered as God leads us through dark valleys (23:4). What happened in Charleston, SC is a dark valley for many of us. We prayed in the spirit of the psalms to be able to bring this threat, this dark valley to God. Perhaps this prayer can help you give expression to how to respond to what has happened.

Our Father, as we see the evil committed Wednesday night in Charleston in the Emmanuel AME Church, we take our example from the Psalms, and we lament.

Getting Ready for Sunday June 21st at The Crossing

Prepare

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Shay Roush continues our sermon series, “Life According to the Psalms,” with a sermon entitled “When You’ve Blown It,” from Psalm 51. The Scripture reads,

Glad To Be a Part of the Team

Rachel on stage at Kids Club

Rachel tar and feathering at Kids Club.

Every once in a while, I want to disassociate myself from my “team,” i.e., Christianity. It’s not that I no longer believe it to be true. It’s almost always because embarrassed by the actions of one of my “teammates.” If that’s Christianity, I say to myself, then I want no part of it. (Notice in these moments that I conveniently forget all the times I’ve played the role of BoBo the nitwit Christian, but that’s a subject for another day.)

Fairly regularly, however, it seems like God shows me just how privileged I am to be a part of a genuine Christian community, one that lives out its faith in all kinds of tangible ways. Two recent and related examples come to mind that I hope will briefly illustrate the point.

The first has to do with the sprawling, week-long event that is Kids Club at The Crossing. Now of course I’m biased. Along with the rest of the talented and dedicated Crossing Kids team, my wife Rachel plays big role in making Kids Club happen. But I’m continually struck by how many people, both kids and adults, so thoroughly enjoy that week. I think it has something to do with the fact that Kids Club, for lack of a better way to put it, bursts with life. It’s a week saturated with the vitality of life-changing truth and overflowing with creativity and fun. And it says something significant that so many are willing to put in so much effort to bring it about. More than once during the week I thought about how great it was to see what was taking place. I’m grateful to experience it, and I’ve long since lost track of the number of people (of all ages) I’ve heard express the same thing.

Finding a Mentor in an Unlikely Place

We all want a mentor. Someone to teach us, coach us, counsel us, and disciple us. Someone to whom we can ask hard questions and someone who has walked one step ahead of us, showing us the way forward. Sometimes we’re blessed by a real-life mentor who can physically sit down with us and share coffee. But oftentimes it can feel like there’s not enough to go around! When that’s been the case in my life, there’s one place I turn to: books. Books, especially biographies, have this certain knack for giving us access to the thoughts and stories of people we would ordinarily be separated from by time and location. We can learn how to cook from Julia Child, learn to love without partiality from Harper Lee, or learn how to read the Bible from Jen Wilkin.

Elisabeth-ElliotI stumbled upon Elisabeth Elliot years ago when I was hungry to learn from an older woman. I hadn’t grown up in a Christian home and my mom, for many reasons, couldn’t be physically present to teach me and raise me and do so many of those “mom” things that we take for granted. I didn’t have any healthy pictures of what it looked like to marry a Christian man, to confess my sin to someone else, to raise a godly family, or to walk with God amidst intense suffering or trial. I so badly craved a living picture of the gospel in every day life.