We at CrossPoint Ministry wish you all a very Merry Christmas. In a world polarized by and riddled with fear there is no greater message than of the one who is called “Immanuel” God with us. The Christmas story is magnificent in many ways. The angelic announcement to the shepherds of “good news of great joy,” the noble humility of Mary and her words “let it be to me according to your word,” and Joseph’s dream marked by the angelic voice saying, ‘She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his
God paid attention to me this morning in a way that He knew I would love! I opened the blinds of the window in the bedroom. Immediately I saw a bright red cardinal sitting on top of a tall weed in the field of swaying grasses behind our house. I smiled and whispered a prayer of thankfulness. The beauty of the red bird always reminds me that “God is with me.” He shows up at the most amazing times. He may be flying across my pathway as I’m driving, arriving at the bird feeder on our snow-clad deck in December,
I’ve never competed at a high level. I felt the weight of spelling competitions in elementary school. And the pressure of going 14 and 0 on our middle school softball team. And the strain of getting sermons ready week in and week out for many years. But I’ve never felt anything like the Olympic pressure of putting everything on the line after years of preparation for that one chance. For the swimming events, the difference between gold and bronze is often just a few tenths of a second. And then there are the women gymnasts on the balance beam.
“It’s time to wind the clocks,” he said as he walked to the grandfather clock that he had built so many years ago. “That’s what I do on Sundays.” As I watched him proceed to complete this process that he does weekly, I knew that beautiful tones of the chimes would sound on the hour as I have heard it many times through the years. It made me wonder if in our journey of Christian spiritual formation, Christ says at regular rhythmic intervals, “It’s time to reset the pilgrims on their journeys according to my time. As they live
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's work the "Cost of Discipleship" was the most significant book I read in the decade of my twenties. It was a book given to me from a pastor in Alton, Iowa who was retiring and dispersing his library. Bonhoeffer's reflections on what it means to follow Jesus changed my life. It was the first time I came to realize the meaning of God's grace. After reading the book I was motivated to become a serious student seeking to bring all of my life under the Lordship of Christ. I came to understand in the economy of God their was "no
Jeremiah 20:7 (ESV) 7 O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. This is not what the prophet Jeremiah signed up for. He was doing everything he thought he was supposed to be doing. He was following God. He was getting pounded in the process. I love Jeremiah’s unabashedly bold and emotional words of honesty. It is one thing to feel that Satan has deceived you but God? Wow. This is
Having seen this beautiful river in downtown Reno, Nevada, this week, my thoughts have repeatedly gone to the old hymn written by Frances R. Havergal. “Like a River Glorious” has been sung by generations as a reminder of the peace that Christ brings to us in our everyday lives if we will just pay attention to His reminders. Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, in its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day, Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way. Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest Finding, as He
“What do you want me to do for you?” This was Jesus’ question to the blind man. Why ask that question. Isn’t it obvious what the man would want? It is. But Jesus asks about his desire because he knows it is critical for us to own and name and take responsibility for our desires. We must pay attention to our desires because they tell us something VERY important in the Christian life. Desire, more than our cognition, volition, or conscience, define what we believe is true, good, and beautiful. Last week a community of devoted souls met for
John 5:1–9 (ESV) The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered
The call of the Gospel is trust–a trust that turns from myself in repentance and toward Christ in faith. We never move beyond that invitation. We must “die daily” because our false self haunts the halls of our souls. So how do we cultivate our capacity to trust Christ in the details of life. My (Jim) impulse is to learn more with the hope of thinking my way into trust. If I am competent with the facts I can be confident in my faith.