Saturday, July 29, 2006

No Crossroads August 2nd, but...

Join us August 6th after church for a grillout and softball match-up against the young adult group from Kenosha First Assembly of God! Start spreading the word, and start hitting the cages! If you're interested in helping out in grilling, or want to be part of one of the teams, contact Jon.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In case you missed it...

TV-MKE, which has a story about me and my beautiful sister Stacey, will be on again tonight at 10:30 p.m. on channel 10! I think you'll find the video quite funny, so don't miss it. See you all tonight!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Friday will be a great time of getting together with other young adult groups from around the state for tailgating and baseball. Both Crossroads home fellowship groups will be combining to participate in this event. Tickets cost $12, and you will need to sign up by Wednesday night. We will carpool from the church at 5 p.m. Friday. For more information contact Mike or Stef Harman.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Girls/Guys Night This Saturday!

Meet at Jon Brooks’ this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. for golf, dinner, and other manly activities. Jon lives at 210 W. Oak Leaf Dr. #3 in Oak Creek. Map. Golfers of all skill levels are welcome, and we'll be teeing off at the Woodlands course in Oak Creek.

?-Call Jon @ 339-4631
Meet at Gina Ditzer’s this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. for a night out on the town at la fuente (Spanish: fountain) Gina lives at 5931 S. Honey Creek Dr. in Greenfield. Map.

?-Call Gina @ 281-0916.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Friend Nite tomorrow!

The anticipation for friend nite is growing! In fact, some are borrowing their parent's Suburbans to bring all their friends tomorrow, and you should too!

If you have friends that you've been sharing Christ with, our topic tomorrow will meet them right where they're at. We'll discuss the common viewpoint that good people go to heaven, and why this theory doesn't hold much water.

We'll also be playing "Who wants to be a Hundredaire?", and all 1st or 2nd time guests , along with the person who brought them will be eligable to play! This was made possible through the gift of several individuals who want to bless our friends.

Finally, the evening will conclude with free pizza, desserts, drinks, games, and swimming at the Woodcreek clubhouse in Oak Creek. I promise you that you'll have a blast, so I look forward to seeing you and a friend(s) tomorrow night!

Friday, July 14, 2006

You've seen the show, and now the game is coming to Crossroads this Wednesday for Friend Nite! By correctly answering a series of questions, and through several helps such as 50/50 and ask the audience, you could win up to $100! All first or second-time guests will be eligable to play, along with the person who brought them, so start making your invites this weekend! This game is made possible by the generous gift of several individuals who love visitors! This Wednesday is all about rolling out the red carpet for our friends, and showing them how much fun it can be to serve Jesus!

Remember after Crossroads this Wednesday we'll have a great time at the Woodcreek clubhouse! There will be free pizza, drinks, desserts, games, and swimming! It won't be the same without you!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Late last night I spoke with Eric Sandoval, who is serving on the ship pictured above in Hawaii. Eric attended Crossroads since 2003 until he took this new position last month with Norweigan Cruise Lines. He has taken many pictures, and if you'd like to look at them, you can visit his site here. Eric would love to hear from you when you have the time, so give him a call!

Last night my interview on PBS was aired at 9:30 p.m. If you missed it, you can watch it again tonight on channel 10 at 10:30 p.m. I think you'll find it pretty funny!

Lastly, for once the Journal Sentinel had an intelligent editorial today regarding the teacher at UW Madison who is teaching that 9/11 was really a plot by President Bush rather than mass murder by Islamists. You can't tell fiction as fact, and hide behind 'academic freedom', and you can read the editorial here.

Be good to one another!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Here is the follow-up article from Boundless Magazine, allowing us guys to get into the minds of the Crossroads gals!

What Girls Wish You Knew
by Suzanne Hadley

Meet Joe. Joe is your average single Christian guy. Joe is frustrated. He feels like he's doing all the right things to secure a godly woman of noble character, but women just aren't responding. Joe believes women are hung up on some image of the perfect man — part J. Crew, part Jesus Christ — that simply does not exist.

Little does Joe know his female friends would have a few things to say if he'd only ask. While these lovely creatures appreciate good looks, charm and sensitivity as much as the next girl, they're not as hung up on these things as Joe thinks. Here are a few things they'd like Joe to know.

Show some respect. When it comes to respecting women, many Christian guys act no differently than the world. When I hear a man talk about other women disrespectfully, it is an immediate turn-off. I've been around guys who, because they're not interested in me, freely label attractive women as "hot" and apply unflattering labels to less attractive women. Even if this kind of talk is passed off as a joke, language that objectifies women is immature and offensive.

A man displays another kind of respect through his actions. When he opens doors, offers a woman his seat or walks her to her car, he communicates deference. Some guys will pour on the charm when they take a girl out on a date, but they don't demonstrate the same consideration to their female friends. Even something as simple as keeping his house clean, so women feel comfortable when they visit, will make the women in his life feel valued.

Be kind to everyone. Men may be surprised by how often a woman is evaluating them in a simple interaction they have with someone else. I not only look at the way a potential suitor treats me, I also watch how he treats others. Consistent kindness is an outward sign of inner character shaped by Christ. The same goes for service and generosity.

My friend Julie notes the first time she found herself attracted to her now-husband, Nate, was when she observed him give away something of value to an acquaintance. "I thought, 'he's so generous,'" she says. They were only friends at the time, but Julie was drawn to his giving spirit — a quality that has continued in their marriage.

Seek out spiritual guidance and accountability. Many guys I've talked to seem mystified by this elusive "spiritual leader" Christian women say they are looking for. In frustration, I've heard these guys suggest that this ideal doesn't exist — "there are only so many pastors to go around." But the women I've talked to seem more concerned with evidence that a guy is engaged in the spiritual process than some benchmark of super-spirituality.

When I am getting to know a guy, one of the first things I consider is whether he is seeking accountability from other Christian men. A lone ranger is a red flag. While women naturally dwell in community, this kind of connection requires more of an effort for men. That does not mean it is less important. A man who takes accountability seriously shows that he wants his life to be laid bare and is inviting input into his blind spots. There is also less of a chance that he is fostering a hidden sin that has the potential to destroy a marriage. Similarly, a man who seeks out a mentor demonstrates a desire to develop his spiritual life under godly authority.

Love your family. My mom often tells the story of the first time she knew she wanted to marry my dad. It happened while they were visiting my dad's brother and his family. Upon arriving at his brother's house, my dad jumped out of the car and ran to his 3-year-old niece. "Little Weee-o!" he called, scooping her up and tossing her in the air. In that moment, my mom saw a future husband and father.

Women also notice how men treat their sisters, mothers and grandmothers. A woman feels safe when she sees a healthy and genuine love between a man and the female members of his family. This doesn't mean he has to get along with them perfectly, but if he shows initiative to have a good relationship with them, a woman trusts he will take that same initiative in his relationship with her.

Take marriage seriously. For many of my guy friends, marriage is something they never talk about. Even if they're thinking about getting married someday, there is no evidence that they're planning for it.

My friend Hannah married one year ago. Several months after her wedding, she and her husband felt a call to go to France as missionaries. Within three months they were ready to go. When I asked her how all their financial needs were being met, she revealed a secret: "John has been saving for a wife," she said. "He was able to pay off my college loans and both of our cars."
I deeply admire such foresight. While every guy may not be able to achieve such financial goals, taking steps that show he is preparing for marriage — even just talking about it — demonstrates to a woman that he's serious about being a provider.

Another evidence of readiness is a willingness to take on responsibilities. Many guys choose to continue living the carefree life they enjoyed in college, instead of embracing the new duties that come with adulthood. Those who consistently make wise choices in how they use resources, such as time and money, stand out. "I'm not looking for a boy," a friend recently said. "I'm looking for a man."

Take initiative. I recently heard my friend Danielle describe how God had brought her together with her husband, Josh. After knowing each other for several years, Danielle and Josh began leading a small group together. Feeling ready to marry, 21-year-old Josh prayed that God would show him if there was a woman in the church suitable to be his wife. When no one came to mind after several weeks, Josh asked a trusted friend if he saw anyone.

"What about Danielle?" the friend asked. Josh began praying specifically about Danielle. In the meantime, Danielle felt her heart moved romantically toward Josh when she had never seriously considered him before. After consulting with Danielle's father, Josh approached her and asked if they might get to know each other for the possibility of marriage. A year later they were married.

This example may seem extreme, but it demonstrates the power of intentionality. I have been in meaningful friendships with great Christian guys who never took the initiative to explore the possibility of something more. On the flipside, I have considered relationships with men I thought of only as friends because they impressed me with their initiative.

Take a Risk. Ultimately many guys let potential relationships dissipate because they let the moment of decision pass them by. They need to know that women respond to courage.
My brother has never been exactly a smooth operator. In fact, we sisters cautioned him not to use his corny humor outside the safety of our home. After getting to know Anna for a semester his freshman year of college, my brother began experiencing feelings for her. She was my best friend, so the three of us naturally hung out and they connected easily. Matt decided he wanted to pursue Anna, so one evening he invited her to a coffee shop to talk.

Anna recalls that the music was loud, so my brother practically yelled as he began to tell her all the qualities he appreciated in her. Just as Matt was building momentum, a song suddenly ended. At that moment, every person in that coffee shop heard him say loudly, "I really like you." Anna, now Matt's wife, fondly recalls the embarrassment of that moment. That night she was taken by surprise and unable to reciprocate Matt's feelings, but she was impressed by his directness. Within two months, she had gone from seeing him as my little brother to being enamored with his bold leadership — and corny jokes.

Joe may feel like throwing in the towel, but he may be closer than he thinks to a breakthrough. The women in his life aren't looking for perfection. They are watching for consistent kindness, unflinching respect and honest initiative.

As Joe cultivates these characteristics, women will notice. And Joe may realize they're not looking for J. Crew Jesus after all — they're looking for Jesus in him.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mandigo/Supita Wedding Video

Well Greg and Jamie Mandigo returned home last night from their honeymoon, as they got married on July 1st. Nate Turner made a great wedding video for the reception, and for all of you who weren't able to make the drive to Crivitz, you can watch the video here!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I came across the following article in Boundless Magazine. Tell me what you think! -Jon

What Guys Wish You Knew
by John Thomas

Meet Jane. Jane is your average single Christian gal. Jane has all the education and career opportunities a person could ask for, has lots of friends, loves her church, and for the most part thoroughly enjoys this season in her life. Except for one thing. She's ready — been ready — to meet a guy. Not just any guy, but the guy.

The problem is that she doesn't get asked out on very many dates, and when she does, the guy either turns out to be a disappointment, or worse, turns out to be someone she'd like to get to know better, but the feeling isn't mutual.

Jane thinks, Where are all the good guys? Is there something wrong with me? She wonders whether Christian guys are much different from non-Christian guys, who seem to be interested only in looks and popularity, searching for a Jesus-loving supermodel, the Jesus part being optional.

Not so, say the "good" guys. If they had a chance to sit down with Jane, here's what they'd say.
Drop the mask. My friend Barry told me that one of the things that initially drew him to his wife was when he noticed her disarming way of laughing at herself. "It wasn't the self-condescending I'm so ignorant kind of thing," he recently told me. "It was total security in who she was, not being afraid to let her imperfections show and be vulnerable. That takes guts, and it was very attractive to me because it showed me how secure she was as a person."

This cuts both ways, of course, but the "good" guys are hoping to find a girl who's authentic — the real deal — who's not hiding behind what she thinks people want to see. If she talks a good Christian line, but seems concerned more with how people "perceive" her rather than being comfortable with who she is, that's a turn-off. Guys see that as an attempt to compensate for what she lacks. A woman who is secure in who she is — honest about her weaknesses and humble about her strengths — is a woman who is hard to resist.

Put "looks" in its place. A friend once told me that he finally worked up the nerve to ask out on a date a gorgeous girl on his campus. Her physical beauty was striking and her style was exquisite, but her shallowness became quickly evident as they spent time together. Although she professed to be a Christian, her priorities didn't add up. "The conversation couldn't seem to get past her obsession with clothes, hair, shoes, sunglasses and cell phones," he told me. To appropriately care is good. To obsess is not pretty.

A guy wants a girl who cares how she looks, of course. Concern about one's appearance is a sign of social maturity. But an unbalanced concern, in either direction, is unattractive. Few women take the extreme view of "who gives a rip" and just present themselves without any care for how they look, although I've seen it and it sends the message that "I don't care enough about anyone's opinion to do anything about it" — not the message to send to potential suitors.
The other extreme is more common: a constant preoccupation with looks (yours and others). Notice what single guys are not saying. They're not saying not to think about or not care about your looks. How you present yourself is a reflection of a healthy self-image, and that's good. Being stylish is not a bad thing in and of itself, but for one's joy to be determined by the acquisition of the latest trend, style or look is not attractive.

Be a warrior. I remember the first time I realized how beautiful my now-wife Alfie is. We were working at a summer youth camp together as staff counselors, and we were barely acquaintances. There were plenty of young, single Christian girls working on staff, and Alfie was one of the quieter ones, so it was easy to miss her if you weren't looking. But you couldn't miss her character. I was blown away by her warrior's heart. Her endless willingness to work hard under less-than-optimal conditions, her gentleness and patience with kids who tried every nerve, her dedication to praying for them, and her graceful way of handling difficult situations were qualities that were impossible to ignore. To be honest, it was after I noticed all of those "grace" qualities that her physical beauty became so obvious to me.

You're wondering, But I thought the guy was supposed to be the warrior. You're right, he is supposed to be a warrior, and so are you. There are many battles to fight, and it isn't just men who are called to fight them. Your concern and compassion for the world around you, and your taking action to shine God's light into whatever part of the world He has placed you, speaks volumes about the kind of lover and parent you would be.

Develop an authentic, adventuresome and risky faith, one willing to follow God wherever He leads. Don't mistake femininity for passive, inactive faith. Are you willing to get in the trenches and get a little dirt on your face for Christ? Nothing is more beautiful. Marriage and parenthood require a warrior's tenacity. When a girl is willing to love the unlovely and give without thought of receiving anything in return, guys take notice.

Less criticism, more support. OK. This is going to sound like the guys are making excuses, but hear us out. Everything — I mean everything — in this world is trying to keep us from maturing into manhood. The culture is holding nothing back in an attempt to keep us passive boys, and many of us are fighting it tooth-and-nail with every weapon we can get our hands on. We're frustrated about the fact that at times our fears — of relationships, of the future, of, yes, women — paralyze us. A single guy is his upper 20s recently wrote me about a girl he's interested in, and lamented, "The only problem is that since I developed feelings for her, I am terrified to talk to her. Whenever I see her it's like I freeze up. My heart starts racing, my palms get all sweaty, I get butterflies in my stomach, and I have a hard time saying anything to her." Sounds like he's in love, and she hasn't a clue. But at least he wrote us seeking advice. He wants to change.
Most young men have had little in the way of authentic Christian masculinity modeled for them, so they're blazing new territory. They're not there yet, but they're working on it, and they are often as disappointed in their progress as you are. Just remember, even though there's a lot more of what he doesn't know than what he does know, he's learning, so don't give up on him yet. Your support means everything to him. Ask how you can pray for him; speak words of encouragement; if you notice his efforts toward maturity and manhood, let him know. It'll do wonders for him.

Remember the good guy. When I told a single friend I was going to write this column, the fire hose opened full blast. "It's frustrating that no one speaks on the behalf of the good guy. Girls don't seem to even acknowledge his existence." Another young man wrote, "The girls say they want a good guy, but they always seem to choose the bad boy. The good guys are here, but nobody seems to care."

Single Christian guys the world over, when they hear a Christian girl wonder where all the good guys are, scream a collective "right here!" Although it might seem, from Jane's perspective, that these guys are nowhere to be found, they want you to know they are all around you, and they are looking for you. They would tell you that not every guy is a jerk, not every guy is passive, and not every guy is interested only in skin-deep beauty.

The good guy can be like the great restaurant that only locals know about. The tourists miss it because they fall for the "traps" of the neon sign and convenient location of the franchise, not realizing that the best is tucked away just a few blocks over. The good guy is more a discovery, finding him can take more effort because you have to work your way past all the flash of the franchise guy. He could be working in the cubicle next to you, or sitting just a few rows over in class, or playing guitar in your church small group. Take the time to get to know him. The one who might be easy to overlook could turn out to be the best kept secret.

Hang in there, Jane. The good guys are out there, and they're looking for you, hoping that when they find you they've found someone who is pursuing an authentic, adventuresome faith, who supports more than she criticizes, and whose priorities are rightly balanced. Concentrate on that picture, and guys — the kind you want — will find it hard to look away.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

July 3rd Fireworks

Join us Monday for the lakefront fireworks! We'll be carpooling from the south lot at church at 7 p.m. If you live near downtown, you can meet up with us in the area between the art museum and war memorial, just off the lake. Afterwards everyone is invited to Mike and Kelly Ganiere's! See you there.

PS-It's official: we have another married couple: Mr. and Mrs. Greg Mandigo! Their wedding was Saturday in Crivitz, and was well done.