August, 2017

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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Jesus Is More Interesting Than Anything ‘Religion’ Has to Offer

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

Welcoming Internationals

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As the new school year kicks off, it’s a great time to consider ways of making internationals feel welcome in our town, our schools, our workplaces, our church, our homes & our lives. Sadly, a huge percentage of internationals in our area never get invited into anyone’s home during their stay. Some internationals are here with their family members but many including international adoptees and university students are processing entry into our culture, language and community in complete isolation.

Why We Should Welcome: These scriptures speak of the gospel of Christ being for all nations:

Matt. 25: 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,* you did it to me.’

1Cor. 9:22 I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

Rev. 21:1   Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place* of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,* and God himself will be with them as their God.* 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Rev. 21:22   And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,  25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.  26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

Rev. 22:17   The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

A Time for Tearing Down

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11a (ESV) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a

A Prayer for Charlottesville (And Us)

Jesus, When we look at the images of hatred, division, evil, violence, and chaos that took place this weekend in Virginia, our hearts are grieved. In moments like this, it’s difficult to know what to say and do. As those who follow you, help our first response to be prayer that turns into action fueled

Abandoned Pets, Lost Lego and the Prospect of Nuclear Annihilation

This past week, our young son showed me once again how very far I have to go in terms of having a vibrant prayer life. He did so, unwittingly, by simply running to prayer himself. In the course of our weeklong family vacation on the coast of Maine, he had two very specific prayers answered…so

Kenya Violence, Post-Election: Prayer Needed

Please pray for Kenya and her people. Once again, post-election violence has claimed dozens of lives and threatens to escalate. The Crossing supports missionary families and many partner projects in Kenya. We have heard from the Wallaces & Apels. They are safe but will be unable to venture out until the crisis resolves.

However, most of the people of Kenya live in greater peril during times of violence. This includes members of our sister church, New City Fellowship: Nairobi, and our partner projects around Nairobi and rural areas of Kenya.

Inter-tribal violence is a prevalent type post-election violence with its roots in the colonial era and longstanding tribal conflicts. But, there can also be a rise in general thuggery, muggings and looting during times of unrest so nearly anyone can fall victim.

Pray specifically for:

  • God to keep our missionaries, their families and our ministry partners safe during this time of crisis.
  • God to pour out his grace and cause peace to prevail in Kenya.
  • God to turn the hearts of the leaders who may be inciting violence so they relent and work for peace.
  • God to make his people bold and courageous to stand up for peace even when they are suffering great fear and danger.
  • God to grant his people the peace of Christ that passes understanding and bring comfort to them in this time of distress.
  • God to use this time of fear and danger to draw hearts to himself that people may come to saving knowledge of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.

    Most Kenyans do not want violence and have pledged to seek peace.

For more details:

Some Thoughts for Politely Declining One-Third of a Barbecued Gopher

Since June of last year, I have been progressivly convicted by the sinful patterns of eating that are more-or-less “the air we breathe” in modern American culture. The ride has been rather bumpy. While we should all be deeply grateful that our country no longer suffers from the sort of widespread starvation that characterized the