I wanted to take a few minutes to wrap up the week with a short video for a Friday wrap-up. As I wrap things up, I would like to ask you to pray for a few important things in the life of our church and our nation. I’ll talk a little bit about why prayer is important. We don’t want to forget our brothers and sisters in Sutherland Springs this weekend.
Welcome to this week’s Sunday Review. (Sorry, it’s pretty late in the week. I’m still getting used to this video production schedule.) In this Sunday Review, we will talk about the new teaching series we began this past Sunday. We began talking through the Five Solas of the Reformation. We took a look at why the Bible is our ultimate authority for life now and eternally. I’ll tell you about the missions meeting this past Sunday afternoon. I will also let you know about some upcoming events to look forward to.
Welcome to this week’s Sunday Review. My wife, Shelly, and I were out this Sunday, but I have heard great things about what took place while we were gone. In this Sunday Review, Pete will take a look at this past Sunday with me. Pete will take a few minutes to talk about his message. Then, I’ll share some upcoming events and let you know what to expect next Sunday. After you have taken a few minutes to watch the video, let us know if you have any thoughts. Pete and I would love to discuss them with you.
God on Politics – God’s heart and your voice in our nation
Are you ever overwhelmed by the world of politics? Do you get tired head when you try to figure out how (or if) your vote really counts? Or do you feel like everyone in washington makes decisions for their power and their pocketbook, so why does it really matter who is in office?
As a GenXer all these thoughts have crossed my mind. And, to be honest, I have probably missed out on opportunities to express myself in our political process because it all just seems so hopeless. Pretty sad for a pastor, right? Ten years ago John Mayer expressed our GenX hearts pretty well when he wrote:
Now we see everything that’s going wrong with the world and those who lead it. We just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it, So we keep waiting, waiting on the world to change. (If you haven’t heard it, it’s a pretty interesting tune.)
I think though, GenXers, it’s time for us to step up to the plate. As a new generation younger than us enters the workforce and adulthood (Did you know we will be outnumbered 2 to 1 by Millennials in the workforce soon?), it’s time for us to begin leaving our mark – especially those of us following Christ. So, what would Christ have us do?
With thanks to those who have come before us – from our founders to our defenders to the generations of Americans who have shaped our nation for the past two hundred years – we have a very special opportunity. We are free to pray, worship, organize, gather and vote according to our conscience. Beginning next Sunday, February 7th, we will be talking about how God expects us to put these liberties into practice to impact our nation and the ends of the earth with the message of Christ’s love.
What are the first ten items you would write on a list of things you are thankful for? Your spouse. Your family. Your home. Your job. A friend or two. Oh yeah. This is about the point I have to go back and put Christ at the top of the list. (But, seriously, if you’re making a thanksgiving list at church, doesn’t it go without saying that Jesus is already at the top of the list of people you would say thank you to?)
I think (or at least hope) that people top the list for most of us. If that’s true, when was the last time you honestly told those people how much you appreciate them? This past week I was texting back and forth with one of our ministry leaders. Toward the end of the conversation, they took one text message to simply say, “Thanks for supporting my ministry.” Wow. That meant a lot. It was simple and sincere. Have you noticed how meaningful simple sincerity is in our world full of sarcasm and shiny things.
Say A Simple, Sincere “Thank You”
This morning I want to ask everyone in our church to do something that I think just might revolutionize our relationships here at CrossRoads. I want you to make a list of five people in our church family you owe a simple, sincere “Thank you.” Then, I want to challenge you to settle that debt. This week I want you to say “Thank you” in a way each person will appreciate. Here are the rules: it has to be simple – nothing flashy, nothing expensive. You don’t have to build a cake or anything. Just send a card or a text or take them for coffee. It has to be sincere. No sarcasm allowed. I know. Sarcasm is fun. But, I’m afraid when we say thanks with sarcasm, it still has some teeth. It still causes a little pain.
We are at a very special place in the life of our church. Let’s take a week to say “thank you” and remember the incredible people God has made a part of our journey together.
There were a couple surreal moments this week as Back to the Future day came and went. I admit there was some nostalgia as I thought back over the past thirty years of life. It’s funny that thirty years later a sci-fi comedy is causing so many people to ask, “Is this what I expected?” I couldn’t find a radio host Thursday who didn’t banter about the wonder of the iPhone or lament that we aren’t all flying ourselves to work every day.
In 1985 I was a ten-year-old who couldn’t see past his next birthday when Doc Brown set the destination date in the Delorean for October 21, 2015. Having spent half that time here at CrossRoads, as much of my reflection contained images of your lives as my own hopes, dreams, accomplishments and shortcomings.
I remembered the first time Shelly and I walked into the Fossil Creek AMC theater (a little overdressed). I remembered the Saturday morning I missed our dress rehearsal for our fist Sunday in Spicer Elementary because I was filling out a police report after my ’88 Nissan Sentra was broken into. I remembered hours and hours of band rehearsals at Paul and Teresa’s house with a bunch of musicians who made me look like a middle-school kid with a department store guitar. I remembered a smoking section outside our back door full of people who realized we cared so much about them, we weren’t going to judge them for a bad habit. I remembered Guy who had been burned by a church where he had served leading music and found healing and love as his daughter and her friends found a home in our youth ministry. I remembered Rob who knew he wanted to find Jesus but found CrossRoads to be the first church that communicated the message of Jesus in an understandable, non-threatening way (without people who freaked him out). I remembered Ed cruising up to the elementary school in his wheelchair, and I remembered conversations with him about eternity has he watched it bearing down on him like an out-of-control freight train – with the confidence of a man who had found his savior.
I can’t say that I’m surprised about what our world looks like in 2015. (I’m not sure I ever bought into flying cars.) I guess the one thing that surprises me most about our church is best summed up in the words of Karen who called CrossRoads, “the best kept secret here in North Texas.” I think she was right – and still is. My hope for our church fifteen or thirty years from now is that we would be able to communicate how much love there is in this place, how much joy we find in Christ and how willing we are to accept people who are looking for a savior. If you have found what Karen, Guy, Rob and Ed found as part of CrossRoads, I want to ask you to do one simple thing: keep letting the secret out. I am confident that we will continue to see God do great things as people find him here with us.