i challenge you

Depending on your personality, you may bristle at those words, you may get excited by them or you may just ignore them. But I am calling everyone I know to a 90 day journey that will result in a closer walk with God. If you are brave enough, you will accept the challenge.

Tomorrow marks the kickoff of E90, our 90 day plan to experience exponential spiritual growth. I, along with over 250 other people are making commitments in areas of prayer/Bible reading, attendance at worship events, small groups, tithing, serving …

You don’t have to be involved at our church to be participate. You just have to want to grow.

I am genuinely excited about this process both for myself personally and for the people who are participating. Traditionally, Summer has been a counter-productive season for most people. The mentality has been driven by relaxation. The result has been spiritual stagnation and backsliding. Not this year!

It is not too late for you to jump in. Check out the details on our website. Take a look and sign up.

I am challenging you. Are you up for it?

coffee mug for a great cause!

For the next seven days, everyone who donates $30 or more to the children of International Orphan Support will receive one of these awesome coffee mugs. IOS is a non-profit organization that exists to give hope to orphans worldwide. Your donation of $30 will meet the basic needs of one child for one month.

For info on iOrphan or how to donate, visit iOrphan.cc. Hey, “like” them on facebook, too!

Disclaimer: no hot coffee will be contained in the cup when shipped!

all you need

I’m studying today for Sunday’s message. God has put some basic things in my heart that I think will help some people.

I want to talk about God meeting our needs.

Sometimes the things we go through feel like they are going to destroy us. But we recall what Paul says in Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

The guy who wrote the verse that we are focusing on knew a thing or two about needs. Life wasn’t always easy for him.
At one point, he talked about his life like this:
We are heard pressed on every side.
We are perplexed.
We are persecuted.
We are struck down.

This was a general way of summarizing how he was feeling. But intermingled in the middle of this expression of all kinds of needs, this guy counters the expression of need with expressions of needs met:

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (NIV)

We can’t allow the needs in our lives to overwhelm us.Whatever you are going through – God’s power can handle it! Regardless of your needs, His grace is sufficient: 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (NLT)

I challenge you to memorize Philippians 4:19 (you’ve already memorized your problems – how about memorizing your solution?)

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (NIV 2011)

God knows about your needs.
God cares about your needs.
God can do something about your needs.

I picked this up from J Simms who picked it up from Craig Groeschel who picked it up from Charles Spurgeon: “I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.”

Come join us at Cross Community Church on Sunday. I know it’s Memorial Day weekend but you have needs that God wants to address.

summer’s coming and I can’t wait!

This year, summer is going to be awesome. It has nothing to do with school being out or summer vacations or the beach. It has everything to do with EXPONENTIAL!

Cross Community Church has launched a 90 day plan – E90 – where we have committed to do the things that God blesses.  Specifically, we have committed to:

Bible reading/prayer

Attendance at worship gatherings

Getting involved (small groups, tithing, serving and fasting)

We fully believe that the result of this ratcheted-up spiritual lifestyle will be an exponential increase in our spiritual development. In other words, come September 1, we won’t even resemble the kind of people we were going into the summer!

Join us! Even if you are not a part of our faith family, you can sign up to participate.

Read the details by clicking here.

publicity stunts in Jesus’ name

May 21 will come and go without the end of the world. Korans will be burned. Protests will happen at soldiers’ funerals and pro-gay events. Boycotts will take place at various institutions. Books will be written by pastors declaring that there is no hell. And Jesus’ name gets attached to them all. Each time one of these things happen, all Christ-followers and churches lose a little more credibility. Guys, we can’t afford to lose any more.

When will we learn to ignore ignorant people so that the very thing they crave (attention) will be withheld? The American public gets played like a fiddle. We buy into their nonsense and allow them to dominate our news. Media-seeking, money hungry “leaders” succeed because we make them succeed. They do this stuff because it works.

How about this: the next time one of these individuals launches a stunt that they hope will gain them the focus of the nation – let’s do something better. Let’s not waste our time getting frustrated at them or buying into their strategy. Let’s not even write blog posts about them. Let’s just do what we are supposed to do: reflect the love and truth of God to a world that really needs Him.

Then, maybe the world will get a look at the real Jesus.

a real dilemma

Again today I heard from a guy who needs my help. I am not in community with this man. He doesn’t attend our church. I haven’t heard from him since the last time he contacted me looking for help. He ignored my advice back then and the result is – he is now in more trouble.

Here’s the dilemma: if I give this guy time and try to help him (along with the several others in similar situations), I won’t have the time or resources to help people that I am in relationship with – people who are committed to me and our church family. Literally, I am not able to do both.

So, who do I neglect and who do I help? I know well the verse that Jesus teaches in Matthew 18 about leaving the 99 sheep in order to rescue 1. But in this case, the 99 also need rescuing. Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost. I want to join him in that. But many of the lost are right here in my tribe. A “yes” to this guy and others like him is a “no” to the people I do life with.

I hope not to be coming across with a messiah complex. But I seriously don’t know how to balance these issues.

Any advice?