Archives For God

All over the news this morning was the story about a speech on bullying given by Dan Savage founder of the ‘It Gets Better Project’. The audience, for this speech, was the very people Savage says he is trying to reach, high school students. During the speech Savage went on a rant about the offensiveness of the Bible and how it is used for bigotry towards the gay community. He suggested, in his expletive laced rant, that the Bible should be ignored and pushed aside so to speak. Let me remind you all of this was spoken before a crowd of high school students some of who profess to be Christians and embrace the Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God. Several of these same students got up and walked out of the auditorium where Savage was giving his speech. Continue Reading…

A couple a weeks ago Newsweek advertised, on their front cover, an article titled ‘Forget the Church, Follow Jesus’.  I guess at its core it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. We really are called to follow Jesus and not the Church as an institution.  However, the Church does have an important role to play in our lives as followers of Christ and that truth should not be minimized. Continue Reading…

With the internet and social media at the finger tips of nearly every one of us there is really no longer any excuse for any one not to be involved in Christ’s global kingdom! Whether we are doing something as simple as inviting someone to watch church with us online, (Yes, every week there is an service online at 11:00am that you can invite people to watch by simply updating your Facebook status on our page), or are involving yourself in using the internet to connect with missionaries, or to pray for those who have a need, the opportunity to be involved has never been more available.

So why aren’t more of us doing this? I think it is often because we just don’t know or maybe haven’t cared enough to understand how this incredible resource can be harnessed to further the causes and kingdom of Jesus.  I am afraid, far too often for many Christians, it is because they are so out of date and still want to argue points and ask questions that no one else even cares about any more. I still hear people asking whether there can be real community formed on the internet or if it is even right that people should be trying to create ‘church’ with this medium. Folks, whether you like it or not, it is happening with or without you.  You can step into it and use it for good or you can continue to argue needless points and keep your head in the sand. This medium of communication isn’t going away! Those of us who are involved with it and are trying to create something God honoring from it have long since passed these questions by. Many of these questions have been answered. Yes, real community and even ‘Church’ can happen online and the ways you can get involved and be a part of it are endless.

Right now as I type this, an Iranian Pastor named Yousef Nadarkhani sits in an Iranian jail after being convicted for being a Christian. His crime is that he will not renounce Christianity and therefore has turned his back on Islam.  The sentence was handed down last week; he is to be executed! So what could you do about this event unfolding thousands of miles away? You could pray. The internet has given us minute by minute updates on this situation. You can find the information right in front of you. So be informed and pray. There are countless stories talking about this pastor’s faith and his wife and children who are calling out to God for his safe release. There are videos and news stories. Why not post these to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and let other people know what is going on.  (http://video.foxnews.com/v/1476884757001/fierce-struggle-underway-to-save-life-of-iranian-christian/?playlist_id=86857)

You don’t have to be a Christian to believe that religious freedom is something worthy of being upheld anywhere in the world. This is a humanitarian case. Share it with others and encourage them to share it with others. Tweet and re-tweet;  Post and re-post. Send an email to the head of Iran’s judiciary (I have).

( http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=88&ea.campaign.id=13092&forwarded=true)

Maybe, if enough of us do, the Iranian government will change it’s position on this. If this past year has shown us anything, it is the power of social media to bring about change.

It’s time for us to harness the power of this resource and make a difference for good. Don’t just sit there anymore!

Continual Thankfulness

Will Crawford —  November 16, 2011

What one of us hasn’t sat around the Thanksgiving table packed with all the trimming and then had the matriarch or patriarch of the family say something like, “Okay, before we eat I want to go around the table and have everyone share one thing they are thankful for.”  The answers often end up being much the same, good health, family, our homes, friends, the country we live in or something like that.  These are great things for us to be thankful for. Indeed each one of these things is a gift from the hand of God. But allow me for a minute to challenge our thinking a bit. What would we say if the year that had just passed was one full of tragedy?  What would we say if a loved one had passed away, our own health had been severely challenged, we had lost our job, money was more than tight and we had to question where each meal was coming from. What if this year there was no ability to have a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimming at all? Frankly, most of us can’t even imagine and we may never have to imagine such a scenario in our lives but what if… Continue Reading…

8)       Rely on God. Maybe one of my favorite verses, in the bible, on relationships is a verse that speaks about the makeup of close friendships. That verse is in Ecclesiastes 4:12. It says, “A cord of three stands is not quickly broken”.  God has blessed, my wife and I, with four daughters so, even though I don’t know much about how to do hair, there as some basic hairdos I have to know. I can do a pretty good ponytail and I at least know how to braid hair (though I probably wouldn’t send them to school with one of the braids I make).  One of the things that amazed me about a braid is that when you look at it, it looks like two stands of hair twisted together. However, in reality, a braid is actually three stands of hair that only looks like two. The third one is essential for holding it all together.  I believe the same is true in marriage. Marriages look like they are made up of two people but, those that are built on God, have a third strand that helps to hold them together.

Continue Reading…

Love Is….

Will Crawford —  February 16, 2011

Ahhh, here we are again in February, the month of Love.  I must admit I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day!  It probably has something to do with the fact that it feels to me like another commercially produced holiday that’s only interested in getting into my wallet. I think the other reason is because I have no idea why we are celebrating. I mean I understand Christmas, Easter, and even the Fourth of July.  But where does Valentine’s Day come from?  A few years ago I spent some time looking up the origin of Valentine’s Day. What I found was that there wasn’t any one agreed upon way that it came to be. It might even be a remembrance of a guy who performed marriages when marriages were outlawed and was beheaded. Maybe a holiday we don’t understand is really appropriate to celebrate an abstract term we also don’t seem to understand well. Continue Reading…

I knew when we started this venture of an online campus church that this question was going to be asked. I think the idea of a ‘virtual’ congregation seems to some like blasphemy.  At first, I too was a little concerned. How do people who come together for Church over the internet connect in a real, genuine, life transforming kind of way? I will admit that this medium may make those kinds of connections harder, yet isn’t the purpose of real, genuine, and intimate connection to touch the heart in a way that causes transformation? If it is, then let’s face it, a lot of us have had plenty of physical contact with people yet likely have very few that have touched our hearts in a meaningful way. Continue Reading…