August, 2015

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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Distressed Gardens and Chaotic Lives

I love to garden. I think it’s fascinating and thoroughly satisfying to put tiny little plants in the ground and watch them, with some careful tending, grow into flourishing flowers or prolific herbs. I really enjoy seeing flower beds that are thriving, plants competing for space in my little corner of the world. And I

Songs and Scenes: August 30, 2015


Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available.

The Crossing Music recently released “Liturgy of the Seasons–Volume 4: Summer’s Throne”; a new E.P. featuring, “The War is Won.” Check it out on C.D. or digital download at

Getting Ready for Sunday August 30th at The Crossing


Dave Cover continues our sermon series, “Life According to the Psalms” this week in a sermon entitled, “Intimately Acquainted” from Psalm 139. The Scripture reads,

Why Do Black People See Things Differently Than White People?

simpsonThe nation was transfixed before their televisions watching as Los Angeles police officers engaged in a low speed pursuit of O. J. Simpson and his white Ford Bronco. Simpson had been the Heisman Trophy his senior year at USC (1968) before joining the Buffalo Bills. Even with such an accomplished athletic career, O. J.’s fame surprisingly grew after retiring from the NFL appearing in films, as a commentator on the wildly popular Monday Night Football, and running through airports in Hertz commercials.

The chase down the freeway was the result of the police wanting to talk to O. J. in connection with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Eventually Simpson was charged with both murders but, after a lengthy trial that was watched by millions each day on live television, was found not guilty by the jury. It’s what came next that surprised me.

4 Ways to Make Sure College Students Don’t Call The Crossing Home

  1. Act like they’re an inconvenience when they are back for school. I know, the streets are busier and parking can be a nightmare, but shouldn’t we be glad that college students are investing in our town and church, even if it’s just for a few years? Isn’t it worth a bit of inconvenience to have them here and for them to get to experience a church community in Columbia?
  1. Ignore them when you see them around the church building or in your kids’ classroom on Sunday mornings. Instead, talk to them when you see them sitting next to you. Ask them questions, introduce yourself, help them to feel welcome in a huge church body that can at times makes them feel anonymous.

Help! What Do I Do When I Don’t Understand the Bible?

thumb_41rJJE82O7L_1024Anybody who’s ever read the Bible for any length of time has experienced it. You’re reading along, understanding things well enough. But then, like Han Solo getting hit with a tractor beam aboard the Millennium Falcon, you come across a verse or passage that pulls you up short. “Wait, what did that say?” you ask yourself. Did someone interrupt your regularly scheduled English programming with an alien language? Or maybe it’s an image or metaphor that you simply don’t understand. Or it could be that you comprehend the words just fine, but you can hardly believe that they say what you think they say. In any case, confusion sets in, often soon followed by frustration. And you walk away, less confident in your ability to read the Bible, and less motivated to do so.

Of course all this is understandable. The Bible was written over a period of many centuries, by several different human authors, in three different ancient languages and in a host of different historical contexts. There’s bound to be a few things that trip us up. So what to do when you find yourself in this situation? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

A Few Quick-ish Thoughts on Sexual Sin*

Hey, my friend, it seems as though you and I have been “running around and around the banana tree” on this particular issue to not much avail, typically generating more heat than light, so I thought it might be good – more for me, perhaps, than you – to put a few thoughts down in

Songs and Scenes: August 23, 2015

Songs-and-Scenes-Banner Jodee

Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. This week, we were fortunate to have Jodee Lewis and friends join us as guest musicians. Today’s liturgy recap features photos by Nate Herndon. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available.

Getting Ready for Sunday August 23rd at The Crossing


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.

We’re taking a break from our Psalms series this week. Keith Simon preaches this week a sermon entitled, “The Gospel, Social Justice, and The Abolition of slavery” from Hebrews 13:7.

The Ashley Madison Data Dump: Is Your Spouse Looking For An Affair?

Have you heard the brouhaha regarding Tuesday night’s data dump of personal information collected by the website Ashley Madison? For those who don’t know (and I sorta wish I was one of them) Ashley Madison is a site that encourages married people to clandestinely carry on what it calls affairs but what the Bible calls adultery.

(Side note: It’s interesting how a label can change our interpretation of something. The word “affair” conjures up romantic dinners and exciting getaways but the word “adultery” evokes shame, guilt, and broken vows. What do you say that we as Christians use the biblical word “adultery” and not the culture’s “value free” word “affair.”)

If you have any doubt about Ashley Madison’s goal all you need to do is note the tag line: “Life is short. Have an affair.” By all accounts lots of people sign up (124 million visits per month) for the opportunity to be matched with another married person.