Monday, January 5, 2015

Looking for Your Very Best with God in 2015? Here are six things to help you along the way.

     It should every Christian's desire to be constantly growing closer to God. An active prayer life, consistent Bible reading and Church attendance are the foundations of Spiritual Growth. I want to share with you six things that I think will help you grow even more in 2015!  This is not a complete list and I would love to hear your suggestions as to what should be added. Have a wonderful and blessed year!

1. Lose the Pride

James 4:6 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

     One of the biggest things holding back Spiritual Growth in Christians is their refusal to ask for help.  Men, in particular, seem to see asking for help as a weakness when actually it is a sign of wisdom and strength. None of us are able to do it alone, we all need help. Help from the church, help from loved ones and most importantly, help from God. Get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit do His work in your life. Let Him lead you and empower you.

     James 4:6 tells us that “God resisteth the proud”, let that sink in. God does not ignore the proud He actively works against them. Life is hard enough with fighting with God along the way. Lose the pride and let God be God.

2. Start Serving

Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

     We are all created on purpose and for a purpose. What is your purpose? One of the quickest ways to find your purpose is to start serving anywhere in the Church. Once you show your desire to serve God He will quickly show you if where you are serving is the right place or not. Step out and make the commitment to serve by serving.

     Don’t confuse serving man with serving God. God’s work flows through the local, not above it or around it. Be cautious of “para-ministries” that operate outside of God’s ordained institution of the local church. More often than not, man’s plans for you are not God’s plans for you.

3. Love like God

1 John 4:19 states, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

     Love to the World is intangible. Poets and authors have been trying to nail down what love is for thousands of years, with little success.  God nailed down what love is on the cross of Calvary, where His Son sacrificed Himself for you. God’s love is tangible.

     To love like God we must also make our love real. Anybody can talk about love, but to love like God love must be expressed. We can’t love sitting the pew we must get up and go out into our communities. Pray and look for opportunities to show God’s love. Seek out the shut-ins and the hungry. Go beyond your neighborhood and take Christ’s love to the world by making plans to join your church on a short term foreign mission trip.

1 John 4:8 (KJV) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

4. Let it go

Matthew 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

     I am one of the few people who have yet to see the Disney movie Frozen.  Nerveless, despite my best efforts, I have not been able to avoid it’s theme song “Let it Go”. There is a lot of theology in that simple phrase.

Has someone hurt you or someone you love – Let it go
Were you fired for something that wasn’t your fault – Let it go
Has someone talked about you behind your back – Let it go

     This year make a habit of forgiving others. Living in a state of unforgiveness will destroy your Spiritual Growth, damage your other relationships and even damage your health. All the while doing nothing to the person you are holding the grudge against.

     Forgiving someone doesn’t let that person off the hook for their bad deeds; it simply moves the vengeance from your heart and into God’s hands where it should have been in the first place. Also, forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to restore relations with them. God does not intend for you to live in a situation where you will be repeatedly hurt. It’s ok to forgive and still eliminate someone from your life.

5. Unplug from distraction

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

     Technology is great at distracting us from Jesus. I wonder what would happen if we all focused on Jesus before Facebook? Or if we spent as much time in prayer as we do watching TV? Technology is neither good nor bad, it is a tool, and it’s how we use it that determines whether it is good or bad in our lives.

     Plan some time every day to unplug from the world and look to Jesus.

6. Stand

Ephesians 6:13 (KJV) “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

     It’s easy to stand with God when everything is going how you planned, but what about when everything is crashing down around you? If you have taken the time to set your goals with God then don’t let the storms of life through you off course. Every season comes with challenges. Circumstances will change, but God never will. When things get rough, stand. When you feel like giving up, stand. When the world turns against you, stand. Stay the course, Stand.  The prize is worth it all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Man of Steel" not so Super

          I had the privilege of going to an advance screening of the new Superman movie “Man of Steel” this week. I have always liked the Superman comics and movies, although I slept through most of Superman II, so I had high hopes for this installment. There were many things to like about this rougher, edger version and some changes to the character that did not sit well with me and others at the screening. WARNING: there are some spoilers.

Let’s start with what was good;

First, I liked the way humans (non-superhuman) were portrayed in this version. Too often in “comic book” movies humans are portrayed as weak, helpless and fearful. In this movie the humans, particularly the soldiers will willing to fight to the death even knowing they had little or no chance against the obviously superior foes. Even non-military persons were willing to place themselves in harm’s way to help their friends.

Secondly, I liked the way they explored the mental aspect of a child growing up different than all of the other children. I think many kids feel this way at times and I think this makes Clark a little more relatable.
Purpose, lots of discussion about finding our purpose and following it. More people should strive this hard to fulfill their purpose.

Also, the production and graphics were great. It did drag a little during the middle but most of the time it moved at a good pace.

OK, What I didn’t like.

The wavering morals of Superman. This is a Superman who has no problem stealing clothing from a stranger because his were damaged in a fire. The original Superman was not a thief. Also, during the fight scenes it can be assumed that thousands of humans were killed in the resulting destruction of Metropolis, much by the hand of Superman. Apparently Kal-el has no problem with humans dyeing, as long as he doesn’t have to see them die (trying not to give away too much of the ending). Also, as Clark he starts to defend a waitress that is being sexually harassed, only to walk away when the confrontation gets physical. Leaving the woman with her idiot patrons. Clark then goes into the parking lot and destroys the assailant’s 18-wheeler. So I guess escorting a dirt bag out of a bar is crossing a line but destroying personal property for revenge is ok. This is also a Superman that lies, drinks beer, and cries (a lot).

Fatherly lessons. Clark learns from his earthly father that it is ok to let some people die so that others may live. He is further instructed that it is better to keep himself safe than it is to fight back against evil. Can we have one movie that doesn’t push liberalism down our throats?

Godlike. Several references in the movie of Superman being “god-like”.  They even made his age 33yrs when he started his earthly work as Superman (think Christ). In his defense Clark does not seem to view himself this way.

Fighting abilities. We learn from the movie that on Krypton people are genetically engineered and raised to perform a certain role in society. With that in mind General Zod was created and trained to be the ultimate warrior, yet gets man handled by the Jor-el who was raised and trained as a scientist. Further Kal-El who was raised to never defend himself or fight back suddenly becomes so proficient in his ability to fight that he is able to tangle with Zod AND all of his warrior minions who also have his super strength and speed.
No Jimmy Olsen.
Not sure how I feel about Superman killing someone. The original Superman always found a way to spare life but this Superman kills Zod by breaking his neck with his bare hands. It was portrayed in the movie as that he had no choice. The real Superman would have found away.

Unnecessary foul language.  Although there was not a lot of it, the cursing in the movie seemed out of place. It made otherwise intelligent, likable characters seem neither. It felt like the words were added not to enhance the movie but to surprise the audience.  It takes away from a movie when the director is forced to resort to this to keep the audience watching. The movie would have been better without it.

Overall not a bad movie but wish they hadn’t soiled a beloved character like Superman. Superman has always been the example that all other Superhero’s are compared to and the bar of what is best and right with America values. That bar just got lowered.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Roy and Amy Pauley appearing at The Crossroads!

Long-time song evangelists, Roy and Amy Pauley, will once again be with us at Crossroads Baptist Church  for a service of Southern Gospel and evangelistic-style music on Sunday, June 23, during the 11am Worship Service.

Roy is known nation-wide for his monthly column in The Singing News magazine, plus he has been a guest soloist with Bill Gaither’s Homecoming concerts on several occasions. He has also been featured on two of Gaither’s famous videos.

Don’t miss this Christ-centered service consisting of inspiring music, plus Roy will be giving a general alter call with special prayer for our spiritual and personal needs.

This is a full-time, self-supporting ministry sustained solely by the freewill offerings received at each of their services. Come expecting a great blessing and come prepared to bless Roy and Amy with a love gift to show your support.

Bring a friend and don’t miss this special service designed to point us to Christ!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Real Church...Real People...Real Simple...

This is not just a slogan, but the way of life here at Crossroads Baptist Church. Here you will find a church that this is truly a loving, filled with people just like yourself!

Crossroads is a Real Church
We were not born out of strife or disagreement; we were lovingly founded by Winter Haven Baptist Church. Crossroads is a church that is built on the Word of God not man. A place where you can learn and grow without all the man-made rules and complications.

Crossroads is full of Real People

At Crossroads you will find people just like yourself, Real. At Crossroads we're not about "having it all together" or acting like we do. We are simply growing together toward a God who really understands us and can put all the pieces of this often bizarre world into perspective. Come visit. There's a place for you.
Crossroads keeps it Real Simple
 Man has a way of making God, well, complicated. While we know that God is infinitely complex, the directions He gave us to live and grow by are Real Simple.

Step 1 - Join us this Sunday for Worship @ 11:00am.

Step 2 - Get involved with one of our Life Groups.

Step 3 - Come and pray with us during one of our POP (Power Of Prayer) Times.

Step 4 - Serve. Let us help you find your place in the family of Christ!

It just doesn't get any simpler than that!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Resistance is futile

Last night I was teaching a group of men incarcerated at the Osceola County Jail. As I was introducing myself one of the men spoke up and said that he was supposed to be going to Crossroads but instead wound up in jail. He said that shortly before he got himself in trouble he had received a hand written note from a lady in our congregation inviting him to church. He felt at that time that Crossroads is where he should be but he resisted and instead chose the path that led him to jail.

I wonder how often we resist the Holy Spirits leading and end up in a place much less than what God had planned for us? God wants to use you and do bigger things with you than you could ever imagine and He will, if you will let Him.

I also wonder how often we make an unforgettable difference in someone’s life without ever knowing. Whoever wrote that letter to that young man has changed him forever. At the very least he is knows someone cares and is recognizing the Holy Spirits guiding in his life.

Please pray for that young man that when he is released he will find his way to Crossroads where he can grow and become everything that God wants him to be! Our God is the God of second chances, for that young man and for you. Seek Him while there is still time.

Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What to do...What to do...

The last Sunday of October is Friend Day and I need a "stunt" to perform to help get folks motivated to invite their friends and make the day a little funner (is that a word?).

Some sugestions so far include;

Kissing a pig (some of you people worry me)
Eat a large bowl of vegatables (you know the stuff food eats)
Shave off my beard & mustache
Eat a two pound hamberger

What ideas do you have? I will do just about anything to be able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with just one more person. In the past I have had pies thrown at me sang a solo, and lived for 30hrs on the roof of the church.

I need your ideas soon so we can get everything together Friend Day is just around the corner!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Soul Surfer - FREE Tickets

Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton. Bethany lost her left arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, through her sheer determination and unwavering faith.

We will be going to see the movie Soul Surfer on Saturday April 9th (time and location to be announced) and you can go with us for FREE! How? Just bring a first time, unchurched, adult visitor to the Sunday, April 3rd, Morning Worship Service and you can go with us for FREE! But that’s not all! We’ll also pay for your friend to go with us as well!

See the trailer for Soul Surfer HERE