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5/29/13

WET SEAL

You ever been to one of those stores?  I don't even know what they sell at WET SEAL.  But, I've seen them in the mall...just never paid much attention.  But, I like the name...WET SEAL.  Reminds me of baptism.

That's, in many respects what baptism is all about.  Of all the practices of Christianity, baptism may be the most misunderstood of all.  There is more misinformation, bad theology and superstition surrounding baptism than any other practice.  Ask someone what baptism is all about and you may get one of 100 answers...all of which may have missed the mark.

Since it's a command of Jesus, it must be pretty important.  At least, you'd think so.  So, I guess we ought to get it right.

This week we'll look at the ACT and the ART of BAPTISM...and just what Jesus had in mind for it when he commanded us to obey him and submit to it.  What we find out may not be the Sunday School answers you've been carrying around most of your life and dishing out when pressed on the subject.

We'll move from "I've always thought that...." to "What the scripture says is...".  BIG DIFFERENCE.

5/21/13

IN A MOMENT

I was sitting at my desk working away when my cell phone rang.  It was my sister-in-law.  She never calls me.  Probably a mistake,  She said, "How's Noah?".  Strange.  I said, "Fine, I guess.  Why do you ask?".  She had just landed in San Diego and saw televisions everywhere talking about the devastation in OKC.

I immediately hung up and called my son.  He answered and said, "Call my wife and tell her I'm OK".  I tried to ask a question, but he insisted, "Just call my wife and tell her I'm OK".  So, I did.  Phone lines were, naturally, blowing up there.  I got through and found out she was fine, told her he was fine, the kids were fine...but, life was not fine there.  It was anything but fine.

A 2-mile-wide path of power and destruction had just come within half a mile of their home.  My son had hidden in the bath tub with a mattress over him hearing an unforgettable noise come closer and closer, only to pass him by.  He could see it out of his window.

In a moment, I had gone from busying myself with the stuff of another Monday, to feeling my heart in my throat.  In a moment, I was reminded of how short and fragile and precious life really is.  In a moment, all my very important stuff was reduced to irrelevant.  In a moment, everything changed.

As you go through your life today, please be thankful for every breath you take.  Take nothing for granted.  Do not presume on the future.  Do not put off till tomorrow what needs to be done or said today.  Because, everything...everything can change IN A MOMENT.

5/8/13

WHAT IF...

Here's a question for you to think about today...What if our Church went out of business?  What if Crosspoint Church decided to close its doors and hang it up?  What difference would it make?  Would it be missed?  Would there be a noticeable hole in Pearland?  Would it be a devastating blow, or would people just find other places to worship on Sundays and go on with business as usual?  Would it make a big difference?  Would the landscape and spiritual temperature of Pearland, Texas be negatively affected forever?  Or, would it be forgotten in a few months?

OK, while you're thinking about that one, let me give you one more to ponder...What if YOU went out of the church business?  What if you stopped being a part of Crosspoint Church?  Would you be missed?  Would there be a sizable hole to fill because of your absence?  How long would it take for someone to call and say, "Where are you?"  What ministry would suffer?  Would there be a noticeable hole left because of your absence?  Or, would everything just roll along like it already does with you or with out you?

How sad to think we are a church that could cease to exist without anyone noticing.  How much sadder to think we live a life as a believer and member of the Bride of Christ, that if we just checked out, it wouldn't make a difference.  The Church is a Body and you are a Body part.  If one of your body parts stops functioning, you would notice.  They call that disease.  But, what about you?  Are you a functioning Body part, or is the Body of Christ diseased because of your lack of functionality?

Do you need to be EXERCISED or AMPUTATED?

5/6/13

CHANGE

I remember my first pastorate.  It was in a small town.  Correction:  A tiny town.  Let's try again:  A village...population 469.  They had a mayor they called "Boss Hog".  No one that I ever spoke to liked him.  So, how do you get to be mayor (an elected position) if no one likes you?  I found out the answer to my query...no one ran against him.

Well, finally someone did.  A young, well-known, well-liked guy from the community.  We would finally have a new mayor.  Results:  "Boss Hog" was reelected in a landslide.  How could this be?  No one liked him.  So, I asked.  The answer:  "At least we know what we don't like about "Boss Hog".  We don't know what we wouldn't like about the other guy".

Let me translate:  CHANGE IS TOUGH.

It doesn't matter what the situation, we're not wired for change.  We don't like our world disrupted.  We don't care to have anyone "move our cheese".  In many cases, we'd rather live with disfunction than risk the unknown variables of change.

Change challenges us.
Change is risky business.
Change ruffles feathers.
Change is uncomfortable.
Change is a little scary.
Change requires us to venture into the realm of the unknown.

But, for the committed Christ-follower, change is an absolute necessity...
It requires faith.  Without this it is impossible to please God.
It provides growth.  This is God's plan and desire for all His children.
It involves submission.  We have to yield to God's plan above our own.
It demands trust.  Change doesn't come with guarantees.  We have to trust ourselves and our God.

Change will never move into the category of FUN.  If it does, that's another issue.  But, it's part of God's plan for us and a necessary part of walking with our God.

The one thing that never changes is the fact that things always change!

5/3/13

A TOUGH BALANCE

According to Jesus, we're supposed to be SALT & LIGHT.  You know, preserve and enlighten.  Protect society from itself.  Also, according to Jesus, we 're not supposed to JUDGE anyone.  Which is it Jesus?  Pick one!  It appears to be a Christ-Follower requires a bit of self-imposed schizophrenia.  This can't be right...can it?

How do you live in the world, be salt and light in the world, hold firmly to the moral and spiritual imperatives that Christ demands without being a compromiser, and at the same time, not come accross as the MORALITY POLICE?

Sounds impossible, but it's not.  Let me show you what God's Word has to say about it.  This Sunday, I'll show you how to keep the balance and hang up your MORALITY POLICE badge, once and for all.