Thursday, January 26, 2006

Crossroads is turning 3!

Next week Crossroads turns 3, and we're going to celebrate! Don't miss this important gathering as we take a look at where we've been, and where we're going. After you're 3 years old, you're no longer crawling, but able to walk and run. We're just getting warmed up for the big plans God has for us, so make plans to join us Feb 1!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Last night I was saddened to hear of the passing of Gary Kautenburg, or 'Mr. K' my high school band director. Mr. K was very competitive, very intense, and took music quite seriously. His love for music is something that wore off on me, and I'm enjoying the benefits of his 4 year boot camp now as I play in the orchestra.

Whenever someone dies, I begin to think if they had a good presentation of the gospel in their life. God loved Mr. K so much that he ensured that he was constantly surrounded by witnesses. I remember inviting Mr. K many times to all the musicals we had here at church. Not only did I extend invites, but several others who are now in Crossroads consistently reached out to him, including Kelly Ganiere and Kristin Banks, among others. God surrounded Mr. K with many other christians in his band that showed him Christ's love in practical ways, such as in dedication, respect, and a love of him and his family. I also tried to witness in some more obvious ways, such as putting a 'Jesus is the reason for the season' ornament on the top of the band's Christmas tree, and notes of encouragement. As unexpected and sad as this loss is, I'm comforted that God reaches out to each one of us, longing to make us ready for eternity. God uses your efforts to accomplish this, no matter how small or insignificant they may seen at the time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'm convinced God loves people who exercise at the gym, a reality that becomes more clear to me each day. This past Friday, I went over to Innovative for a quick workout, and ended my ritual with a trip to the therapy pool. For all of you in Crossroads who belong to this gym (many of whom haven't been there in months, but I won't name names), you know it's the best way to relax the huge muscles you're recently aquired (restrain your laughter, please)! I noticed a guy in the pool, about my age, lifting weights. I couldn't shake the gut feeling that God wanted me to talk to him. But about what?

As I was thinking about what to say, he left the pool area. I thought the moment had passed. But he returned a few minutes later. I knew this was God as it has been in the past, so I approached him.

I asked him what he was doing, and he told me that 7 years ago he was in a severe car accident that left him completely paralyzed. Through much hard work, he has some movement, and needs to train 6 times a week, or his ability to walk will disappear.

I asked him if he believes in prayer; if he believes that God hears him and can completely heal him. He asked several questions about prayer, and then introduced himself formally.

He said he was really touched that I would care enough to offer to pray, and I assured him that I would. I have. And your prayers for this young man will make a difference.

Finally, yesterday I was praying for a certain individual while on a bike. 10 minutes later, this person came up behind me, and we spoke for about 30 minutes. He'll be at Crossroads tonight for the first time in over a year. Pray for God's blessing on his life.

Do you have a story about God at work in an unusual place? If so, I'd love to hear it. I know God wants to use you wherever you go, and you'll experience excitement and joy as you hear and obey his voice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

February 4th is the date to show what you're really made of. Going downhill isn't always a bad thing, especially when you're skiing or tubing. So choose your weapon, whether it's ski's, a board, or a tube, for a great time on the slopes. Afterwards, we'll travel to the nearby home of Mr. and Mrs. Ganiere, to warm up with some Chili.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Here's sometime of vital importance. Click on candy to play!

My friend Ryan Gasparini sent me this memory game his web company made for us to enjoy! Just click on the candy to begin, and let me know if you can beat the computer!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Alyssa Geiger and Aaron Weiler Wed January 7

And no wedding would be complete without the "cake cutting" Posted by Picasa

Then following the ceremony was the reception at the Bluemound Waters Restaurant. A Fine place to hold the reception. Here we can see Liz, Jen, Sarah, and Nicole having a great time enjoying the band playing music. Posted by Picasa

Here are some pictures from Alissa and Aaron Weiler's Wedding, which took place on the 7th of January. This was a lovely ceremony which took place at Calvery Assembly of God. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 06, 2006

Taking any risks yet?

On January 4th we started a series on Heroes, and we spoke of Moses leaving comfort and safety to risk it all for God. Do you have a story of a risk you've recently taken? A bold step of faith to do something great for God? If so, I'd like to hear about it, even in the comments section! And don't miss this upcoming Wednesday, where we'll look at the heroic life of Nehemiah. What was his secret for solving problems that everyone else saw as too big? Find out!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bonafied Christian...

From Relevant Magazine:

I came across the following article today, and I would be interested in getting feedback from all you great thinkers!

I’m pretty sure I won’t get much opposition if I say that U2 is the greatest rock band of all time. When I scored two great seats to one of the shows at Madison Square Garden last month, I thought my life had reached its pinnacle.

It was a euphoric experience. During the first few songs, I stood, along with the rest of the stadium, as we pumped our fists into the air and sang along with every word. The energy in the air was emotionally overwhelming. And if you’ve never been to a U2 show, let me tell you that it was everything you’d ever expect it to be.

But it was also much, much more.

About five songs into their set, Bono stopped the show and strapped on a headband with writing on it. I stared up at the JumboTron to see that the handwritten lettering said: COEXIST.
Coexisting sounds like a great idea. I fully support the peaceful philanthropy that Bono has encouraged, and this seemed like another way that he was trying to spread the message.
Except, it started to feel like more than a political message. The “C” in “coexist” was the Islamic crescent moon, the “X” was the Star of David, and the “T” was the cross of Christ. Bono pointed at the symbols on his headband—first to the cross, then to the star, then to the crescent moon—and he began to repeat:
“Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true. Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true.”

He repeated the words like a mantra, and some people even began to repeat it with him. I suddenly wanted to crawl out of my skin. Was Bono, my supposed brother in Christ, preaching some kind of universalism? In just a few seconds, I went from agreeing with him about Christ-like “coexistence” to being creeped out by the ungodly, untrue thing he was saying. What’s going on here? What if he believes that all ways are the same, and he just thinks of Christianity as his particular way? Aren’t universalism and true Christianity mutually exclusive?

I’ve heard the urban legends of amazing things Bono has said about his faith, I’ve read the books, and I’ve peered deep into everything he’s said hoping to find something that makes his beliefs clear. For years, I’ve adored him and clung to the notion that he is believer, too. After all, he identifies himself with Christianity, doesn’t he?

When he stated that lie so boldly, it devastated me. It was, without question, the most disturbing experience of my life; I felt like I’d been covered in bile. As I looked around, I saw all the people standing and chanting with him—it was disgusting and beautiful all at once. Unity can be so enticing. It made me think of the one world religion and how that will probably look benign and beautiful from the outside, too. I even started to wonder if universalism just might be poised to be that religion. All these things were running through my head.

After the show, I ran into a friend who had been sitting in the back row of farthest. “What did you think of that headband thing?” I asked. “Well, I couldn’t hear what he was saying because it was bouncing off the wall behind me, and I couldn’t read the headband, because I wasn’t near a JumboTron. But honestly, I felt like I was witnessing an antichrist.” I stood frozen as she spoke.

I’d had the same feeling.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying that Bono is the Antichrist. Perhaps he’s just guilty of being overzealous about his politics. But I hope that if he is a believer, the Holy Spirit will convict him that equating Christianity with other religions is false prophecy. II Timothy 3 tells us to avoid people who have a form of godliness but deny the true power of God. And I believe that the most deceptive thing of all is to identify yourself with the truth and preach a lie.

For a long time after the show, I couldn’t talk about it. And I still don’t know what to think because I don’t know Bono’s heart. All I know is what he said from that stage and how it shook my footing. God used that to show me something ugly in myself that needed to be fixed. It felt like He was saying, “If you’re looking to Bono, you’re looking to the wrong place.”

The reality is that Bono held too high a place in my heart. And I don’t think I’m alone there. I’ve wrongly held him up as the heroic ideal—the cool representative for Christianity; he may have been my “Christian idol,” but he was my idol nonetheless. And that’s not okay. Yes, it should bother me to think that Bono might not be a believer; but it should not bother me any more than if a random guy on the street does not believe.

I pray for Bono more lately, and I pray for the hearts of the millions of people that he impacts on a daily basis. He is, without question, the most influential person in the world, and he has an unparalleled opportunity to speak the truth to the lost world. This year alone, he was nominated to be the president of the World Bank, and he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And by the time the Vertigo Tour ends in April, it will have grossed twice as much as any political campaign anywhere, ever. If Bono has a saving faith in the one true God, I can only hope that he would speak the Truth without ambiguity. I pray that the name of Jesus would grace his lips, without being equated with Judaism or Islam or any other religion. And I’m praying that God will help me to put things in the right place in my heart.