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MMQB - December 14, 2009

1. Membership Sundays. I love them. I’m always humbled an encouraged by them. Reminds me how thankful I am that God has me doing life with this little redemptive project we call the CrossPointe. In case you missed it, here’s the list of folks who joined Sunday: John & Sue Batastini, Jimmy & Ann Marie Brooks, Michael & Robin Burt, Caleb & Leah Carr, Samantha Dawkins, Jill Dodelin, Ron & Cindy Freund, Carole Kubik, Don & Terrie McKelvey, Stephen & Sara Beth Shealy, J.C. & Hsing-Ling Shyu, James & Cindy Skipworth. Welcome to the Tribe folks! 

2. On that note, membership Sundays remind me afresh of how important it is to be reminded of the scriptures in the New Testament that speak to how we should treat “one another.” These are not optional verses for us at CrossPointe. We need to continually strive as a church to be a place filled with grace, forgiveness, respect, patience, gentle words, humble confrontation when necessary, the complete lack of political maneuvering, and selflessness. Romans 12:9-21 pretty much sums it up.

3. An album I’m loving lately is Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb. I especially like the song “Deliver Us.” Here’s a clip of it being sung by Derek Webb.

4. A frustration I have about church life is why some people seem to easily connect, thrive and grow while others struggle to connect, linger on the fringe and float from church to church. Some people tell me that CrossPointe is warm, inviting, and one of the kindest and friendliest places they’ve been. I’ve also had people tell me that no one said hello to them, it was clique-ish and hard to break into. Probably both are true at various times. Ultimately I think it is a two way street. As a church culture we must constantly be reminded to get outside of ourselves and engage people that are new and not in our social circle. And, to be honest, some folks need to toughen up a little bit and stick their nose in there and make themselves a little more visible and decide to make an effort to connect.

5. Cartoon animation has come a long way via Pixar and Disney. But there’s still something mesmerizing about the old style animation Christmas movies. I can’t get enough of them this time of year. Here’s a clip from my favorite, The Island of Misfit Toys. Reminds me of the Gospel. Jesus takes misfits.

6. Fan wise I’m a contradiction. This will make no sense to you native SEC fans, but I actually like my team’s rivals. It’s better for the sport when they are great. I’m a lifelong USC fan, but I like Notre Dame. I love the Dodgers, but I like the Padres, Giants, and Yankees too. I grew up a Lakers fan, but I like it when the Celtics are good. And, as tough as this is to say, although I’m an Army grad I’m actually proud of the Navy and Air Force’s success in football. (Caveat—this does not apply to UCLA. Can’t stand ‘em. Want them to lose every game in every sport).

7. I’m surprised that Mark Ingram is the first Alabama player to win the Heisman. I’m glad he won. Seems like a great kid. Loved the emotion he showed during his speech. Since we’re talking about Alabama, I’m still waiting for the ‘Bama fans among us to account for the fuzzy math I referenced last Monday. I realize public schools in Alabama may have their issues, but surely ya’ll can do simple arithmetic. Eight or nine does not equal twelve.   

8. "Once upon a time, men wore pants...." Love this men’s pants ad from Dockers. Click here to see it. Take a moment to read the small print in the graphic. Lots of truth to it. My favorite line, “We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency.” Snap!

9. I’m behind on the memorizing. Still need to do a little work on Colossians 1:15-20 before I can recite it. Will have a new verse for you tomorrow (Tuesday). Had a busy week and I’m behind a little. But, as I learned at West Point, “No excuse!”

10. Keep praying for our boys overseas. The holidays are especially tough times to be away from family. Doesn’t help things when you’re getting shot at either. If any of you guys are reading this, we’re praying for you and very thankful for your service to our nation!

11. How about that song from Terrie McKelvey yesterday? Full of awesomeness.

12. I love being your pastor. These past 4.5 years have been a great ride, but our most significant and fruitful days are ahead. Soli Deo Gloria. 

Grace & Peace,