The emptiness of the church calendar at Crossings Community often brings some culture shock to those who have become accustomed to the hustle of the suburban church. Unfortunately the modern church culture trained us to believe that the hours in attendance each week are equivalent to our level of spiritual maturity.
Children love trampolines. Okay, let’s be honest and say that most adults love trampolines too. It can be good fun to spend some time on a large trampoline jumping around with your kids. Maybe even better is the fun had while going to a local trampoline gym so you can really stretch out and leverage the space.
Every single time we take a big explosive jump on a trampoline our action is giving evidence to our belief in that trampoline. Most of our actions are actually an indicator of HUGE confidence in that trampoline. If we believed we could possibly find ourselves ripping through the bottom of a trampoline then we would not be trying all of those creative jumps or child catapults that we so enthusiastically enjoy.
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10 ESV)
I love this truth. We live amidst the swirling storms of many different circumstances. We exist every day within many different relationship dynamics. Those we work with can bring stress and anxiety… parenting will often bring stress and anxiety… all this amidst the pace of life that we live can find us pretty beat up at times.
You will often hear someone refer to a person they are planning to marry as someone with whom they have much in common. This idea seems to be rooted deeply in our culture when we begin to talk about finding that special someone with whom we will spend the rest of our life.
We often spend those initial stages of discovery focused on how alike we are and then shortly after the wedding day the conversation changes to how different we are. We go from having everything in common to not even speaking the same language almost overnight. There has to be a Hollywood romantic comedy to be found in that saga…
It is so simple and obvious that I feel stupid writing about it. On the other hand, we all (including myself) must be pretty ignorant because it is a pattern which populates the stories that surround us on a daily basis. We have no shortage of news around devastated homes, marriages, and friendships. Further, this is definitely not an inside the church versus outside the church type of reality. The truth is that we see an unfortunate steady flow of implosion stories within the church.
We have a conversation at our newcomers gathering at Crossings Community which I have not experienced in the other churches where I have been involved. There are probably many who would find it crazy to have such a conversation with new people who have not yet committed themselves to the church.
We explicitly tell people that they are going to get hurt by others in the church and at some point will probably get hurt by one of us in leadership. We go out of our way to tell everyone that it is not an ‘if’ situation but a ‘when’ situation.
There are many triggers that can quickly turn a good day into a not so good day. We all have different things that can push us over the proverbial edge. Matter of fact, you probably have a list of things that can send you into a downward spiral. That list probably changes based on every environment of your day. If you are with the family, there are most likely things that the kids can do that may incite anger, frustration, or despair. Wives, I’m sure there are those things your husband does which can completely alter your mood in an instant.
Even greater than the things which can come and go during the regular happenings of the day… the unexpected health news or job loss can be devastating. There are things that we face in life which have a significant impact on us and our home. We have all walked through those times and may even find ourselves in the middle of one of those seasons today.
You are probably sick of hearing about resolutions by now. Personally I do a lot of ‘resolution’ type thinking throughout the year. I am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating, tweaking and adjusting, and looking forward at adjusted goals based on lessons learned. I really enjoy this thought process because it fuels growth in all areas of my life.
Since ‘resolution thinking’ is constant for me I do not take the time to write down new ideas each January. However, I do make it one of my intentional inventory seasons because it is such a good time to make adjustments in personal and ministry life. I know that your life probably looks different and that constant evaluation may not be a neurotic tendency that you share with me.
As crazy as it is to say, it is that time of year again. Our kids just have a few more days of school before they begin their Christmas break. We have our lights on the house, the tree is up, and we were wearing shorts this weekend – gotta love our Houston climate. Christmas parties and concerts are in full swing. Christmas shopping is an obvious objective for so many who are filling the roadways each weekend. It is that time.
During the Advent season we enjoy the rhythm of looking ahead towards Christ’s return. I have learned to love this season and I look forward to it each year. When we talk about the return of Jesus it invariably sparks some conversation about those who claim to ‘prophesy’ the very moment of that return. This has turned into a thriving market in the Christian marketplace. It seems that many of us really love reading or watching as so-called prophets or experts tell us when this world will come to an end.
Honestly, we have such explicit clarity on these things. The scriptures do include ideas that will mark the final stages of life before the return of Jesus. Yet it is also crystal clear that no one will know the moment or expect the timing of Christ’s return (Mt 24:36). Although not the purpose of this writing today, we should understand that those who claim to know or predict the end have placed themselves firmly in the ‘false teacher’ category as they are attempting to do exactly what the Bible indicates cannot be done. This should create a considerable concern in us when we hear these things.