Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Mural for Estancia High School

A new look for Estancia High School. Volunteers part of the Extreme School Makeover at Estancia High School design and paint a new mural. Check it out...

Lemondade for Bill by Annie

My daughter, Lucy and I hosted a Lemonade Stand this past Saturday to raise money for The Thomas Family. I am happy to announce that we raised $170.00!!!! So many people stopped by and asked lots of questions about our fundraiser. We were excited to share Bill's story and how our church started this ball rolling to help those in need. Many people went back to their car to get more money! One lady just handed us her change jar that she keeps in her car! Our neighbor who couldn't come on Saturday dropped off $20 today! Other neighbors who received our flyers came by and gave extra, too! Lucy was excited to pour lemonade and even said a prayer at the beginning for people to come to our lemonade stand and for Mr. Bill to get better. There were many times that tears welled up in my eyes because of the generosity of strangers. This was a great experience for my daughter, but I know I was able to learn from it, too and I felt so blessed just be able to be a part of what our church is doing!

Coming soon to a theater near you...

KIDS THESE DAYS:A dramatic retelling of helping
By Steve Smith

Unless you were there, you may not believe what you are about to read.That’s not because you doubt my credibility, but because the tale is so outrageous, it would take a Hollywood movie to do it justice.

I’ve been thinking about that movie since that Sunday 10 days ago. The movie is set in a nice town, but like every other town in the country, there are issues and challenges.

In the plot of this movie, one of the town’s two local high schools, an up and coming institution that is beginning, finally, to realize its full potential, is looking a bit shabby. The physical appearance does not match the new, optimistic mood of the faculty, administration, students and parents.

So the principal of the school mentions something to a leader in a local church, who mentions something to someone else, who mentions something to another mover and shaker.

And while on the screen we’re watching test scores and pride rise, we’re also aware of the levers being pulled and arms being twisted behind the scenes to accomplish a great feat.

Then the movie reveals the heart of its story: A one-day makeover of the entire school by a thousand members of the church. At 8:30 a.m., they arrive, organized in teams to carry out their mission: complete their refurbishing tasks by noon, then assemble in the gym for a celebration.

Not content to empty out their garages with rudimentary hand tools, they arranged for delivery of skid steer loaders to move massive piles of dirt and manure, and scissor lifts to paint the highest parts of two-story buildings.

Fifteen people work on placing new greenery in a large planter by the gym. That team is multiplied by a dozen more working in other planters.

Over by the basketball courts, 40 more people are repainting every line on every court and restoring chain nets to every hoop.

In a hallway, brand new decals with the school mascot, an eagle, are being placed on freshly painted vending machine alcoves.

New ceramic tile is cut near the main office to replace missing and damaged pieces. There is more fresh dirt being used than is held in any nursery, more paint than in any hardware store and more cleaning supplies than the largest janitorial service company has.

The screen would show what would appear to be total chaos, with the thousand people running everywhere, then panic as the midday deadline approached.

Theatergoers would start to tense up and wonder whether the goal of this gargantuan task was really achievable. At noon, it is done.

The workers meet in the gym and have their meeting — one that reminds themselves and everyone else what is really important in life. There are smiles everywhere. Then, before the credits role, there is one line: “Based on a true story.”

On Sept. 21, that story was told on the campus of Estancia High School when 1,000 members of The Crossing church spent most of their day painting, cleaning, planting and polishing the high school in Costa Mesa.

I got to the school at 10 a.m. and for the next 30 minutes, wandered around the campus as stunned as I may ever be. The scene was so incredible, I had to call my wife, who was at a meeting in St. Louis, and tell her what I was witnessing. Then I called my son and told him to get ready to be picked up so he could see what was happening.

Lead Pastor Tim Celek found out that I was a parent at the school and asked me to say a few words at the noon meeting. When it was my turn, all I could do was be honest. I told the crowd that I am never at a loss for words, but at that moment, I was speechless. All I could do was thank them very much for what they had done.

There is no Frank Capra movie that could capture that spirit of The Crossing congregation that day, no “Extreme Makeover: School Edition” that would have the impact on the community the way that army did that Sunday. The city of Costa Mesa is beyond fortunate in having a community partner like The Crossing, which is celebrating its 20th year.

If you live in Costa Mesa, you benefited from their work. All that’s left is for Robert Downey, Jr. to be cast as the principal in the film version.

STEVE SMITH is a Costa Mesa resident and a freelance writer for the Daily Pilot.

Monday, September 29, 2008

One great idea...one simple email...hundreds raised by Allison

When "Cash for Causes" was presented to us on Sept. 13th, we absolutely
LOVED the idea, and were honored to participate. Our family received a $20
bill. We started by adding $100 to it, but then got stuck...What charity
should we give to? What was our strategy for raising money?

Indecision hampered us for more than a week, and then we finally decided
that a simple, heartfelt message to about 20 close friends and family
members was a good way to get started. So we sent an email out just last
night explaining the "cash for causes" concept and that the charity we had
chosen is Laura's House, a non-profit organization in Orange County whose
mission is to: "Change social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that
perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower
individuals and families affected by abuse."

I shared that when I was reading about Laura's House online, I was impressed
with the wide range of services they offer for women and children --
everything from legal services and shelter, to counseling, education, job
training and more.

I asked our friends/family if they would consider matching the $20 that The
Crossing had given to our family. In less than 24 hours we have received
close to $200 in donations, with more being pledged every time I check my
messages. We are thrilled, and hopeful that within the next few days, we
will have raised close to $400 for this charity.

THANK YOU to The Crossing for challenging our family with this, and for so
many other innovative ideas that have helped us grow and reach out to others
around us.

The Reese Family
Allison, Tim, Hannah and Jordan

Friday, September 26, 2008

Haircuts for a Cause by Debra

When I began with the idea of a fundraiser for TSAOC (Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance of Orange County), I really didn’t know what an impact I could make. I knew that my neighbor’s daughter, Brenna, was born with an illness (TSC, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex) 7 years ago, but really didn’t know about it. When I told them I wanted to offer free haircuts in order to raise money for a non-profit, I asked Yvonne Kahlen if there was a non-profit organization that they belonged to. She and her husband Kent were excited. They want more awareness of this disease. They gave their approval for me to share their daughter’s illness with others. (She currently has brain tumors, heart tumors, and cysts in her kidneys, as well as extremely high blood pressure)

I quickly went to work. I typed up a flyer and printed 285 copies. It took me two evenings after work to individually hand each one out to all of my neighbors in my condominium complex.
When Saturday came around, I set up my carport like a mini hair salon. It included chairs for visitors, my haircutting supplies and chair, a table with complementary veggies and cake, a donation bag and literature about Brenna and TSAOC.

By 3pm Saturday, the donations and neighbors began to arrive. There was a bit of energy flowing and everyone was eager to learn about this rare disease. By the end of the day I had made $295.00. On Sunday, after helping with Estancia Extreme Makeover, I again set up shop for more donations. By the end of this day I made a total of $555.00 and had only done three haircuts. What awesome neighbors!

In the last several days since, more donations have trickled in.
So far I have collected $595.00 from a little $20 bill. More calls are coming in from neighbors wanting to donate. Even with out a haircut. How awesome is GOD!!!

This has really touched my heart.. This feeling is even better than shopping! I feel extremely blessed to be able to help others.

The Kahlen family would like you to know that it is only by God’s hand that Brenna is doing as well as she is. Whenever a doctor reveals yet another problem, they send out for a prayer requests. Soon after, Brenna is fine. God is watching over this little girl. He is testing the Kahlen’s faith and at the same time blessing them with this little miracle daughter!

Blessing to all,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sept 27th & 28th - Celebration Weekend

Join us for our 20th Birthday Bash Celebration Weekend on Sept 27th & 28th. On Sept 27th, Bryan Duncan will be performing a free concert in the plaza that begins at 7pm. And then on Sept 28th, Team Soil, world champion BMXers, will perform free shows starting at 9:30am and again at 11:15am. On both days we will have FREE face painting, bounce houses, rock climbing wall, popcorn and cotton candy. You aren't gonna want to miss this celebration!!

Risk and Manure in YOU!!

When The Crossing first began, it was easy to take risks. There was nothing to lose because there was just me, Sue, and a handful of people. But 20 years later, with a new location, a parking structure, a kid's building, a whole bunch of people and a budget to keep; it can be easy to play it safe.

Look at those early followers of Jesus, they didn’t play it safe, THEY WENT FOR IT! Of course they all died a martyrs death, but they did things that no one else was doing.

As a church, we are called to play offense. There’s no need to run from the gates of hell. We’re supposed to just KICK them down!!!

Last weekend we did some kickin’ in the name of Jesus! More than 1,200 people turned out to makeover the Estancia High School campus. The principal of Estancia was BLOWN away!

The Crossing…WAY TO GO!

DO NOT MISS this weekend as we CELEBRATE God (no that’s not a misspelling) times! There’s going to be some really cool stuff for kids and some awesome happenings for us adults.

Service times are Saturday night at 5:30 pm and Sunday morning at 8:30, 10, 10:30, or 11:45 am.

See you this weekend,

Tim CelekLead Pastor

The Crossing
2115 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


P.S. About the manure, well for those who served at Estancia they know what I’m talking about, “Oooo that smell…” I was reminded of this verse...from 2 Corinthians 2:14-16...

“...in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

As a church, the odor we’ve collectively given off this ENTIRE month (with school makeovers, car give aways and cash for causes) has been FLIPPIN HUGE! There’s NO PLAYING it safe going on here. See you this weekend!!!

Church Chips in for Estancia

Members canceled their weekend services to repaint blacktop lines, plant shrubs and help out with other tasks.

By Alan Blank/ OC Register

More than a thousand volunteers from The Crossing church in Costa Mesa got together to paint, landscape and repair various parts of Estancia High School in a massive community partnership that Principal Phil D’Agostino says is the way of the future.

With school districts strapped for cash, many important improvement projects get put on the back burner, and D’Agostino thinks that establishing relationships between neighborhood organizations and schools is a good way to get things done.

“This is going to be the new model: reaching out to groups that value public education because they went to Estancia, or their kids went to Estancia or they know about Estancia and they want to lend a helping hand,” D’Agostino said.

The Crossing canceled its weekend services so that members could come out and help Sunday. Volunteers painted storage bins and bleachers red, planted shrubs in campus planters and redid the lines on the blacktop along with other projects.

Pastor Ian Stevenson, who organized the event, said that coming to an agreement with the district took some work because there were liability and labor issues that needed to be addressed, but eventually everyone signed off and the result was overwhelmingly positive.

“We picked Estancia for a number of reasons. It seemed like the most underserved school in the community. Parent involvement is not as high as it is in other schools. It just seemed like a school that could use it,” Stevenson said.

A first in Costa Mesa - Estancia High School Makeover!!

The city of Costa Mesa has never seen anything like the Estancia High School makeover that happened on Sunday, September 21st. How amazing it was to see around 1,200 people giving back to this school and our community. Watch this video to catch a glimpse of what happened and why...

Finally Home Foundation by Pete Clayton

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Orangewood Children's Home by Mava

I received $20 in my envelope. So far I have raised $320, with more promised.
I selected the Orangewood Children’s Home because I have a heart for homeless and neglected children. Over the past 30 years, my husband and I have taken into our house many troubled children. I know how much it means to a child to have someone, anyone care for them. I especially am pushing the scholarship program at Orangewood. It helps kids to go to a college OR a trade school when they reach the age of 18 and are pushed out of the system. These kids really need help in determining their future. Not all kids can or will go to college so the fact that they can get help to go to a trade school is such a gift. When we invest in children’s future, we invest in ours. This program can help to keep these kids from going out on their own and failing and ending up in jail, homeless or abusers themselves. I thank The Crossing for giving me the opportunity to reach out to these kids and to come out of my comfort zone to help others I don’t even know.

Thank you The Crossing. The people who go there are surely blessed!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We turned $20 into $5000!


Ward and I received $20 in our envelope during the 'Cash for Causes' weekend. We took a few days to think and pray about what to do with it. As we sat at dinner one night, Ward had said, what about the Briner Family.

Eric & Jen Briner have dedicated many years into our Church (good 'ole CCNM) until God called them to Missouri to work with The Navigator's organization, discipling and leading people to Christ at Columbia Missouri University. They have for many years, and still live as "support only" missionaries with The Navigator organization, and continue to live out the Lord's calling in their life and their children's. They live on very little means with 5 children, with HUGE faith where God continually provides their needs. They are amazing testimonies of living in faith, a love & mission to lead people to Christ and live for Him, love for the Lord and contentment with what they are given.

So, that evening we decided to put out our 'Cash For Cause' challenge and decided to do a matching offer. Within 12 hours we had raised $2500 and within the week, we doubled it to raising $5000! Many people got on board and began matching matches, and it was amazing to see the level of love poured out to this amazing family.

The God part of our story was so cool...

The night after we sent out the first email, I was praying for people to respond. I had called a mutual friend of the Briners, Irene Dunlap, and left a message. The following day, with no response yet, I was wondering "why" she hadn't responded. As I stood in my dining room, hands raise high worshiping my favorite song "Word of God Speak", I began to think of Irene...and the phone rang. It was Irene. She was just about screaming into the phone. "I just got your email and message", she said. "I just got off the plane from Missouri." "I can't believe this", she said, "I was there all weekend supporting the Briners in a local fundraiser and we have been praying all weekend for God to raise some money." "How did you know?" "How did you know?", was all she could say.

We had also found out that the Briner's furnace had just burned out and the storms of IKE had flooded their basement and they needed funds (besides living support) to fix the problems.

God has been amazing through His people during this time. Everyday was so exciting to see emails come in and people stepping up to give so beyond for this family who continues to live and breathe for bringing people to Christ and living for Him so dependently!

Thank you for this wonderful challenge.

Maria and Ward

Perfect Match

I personally worked with many volunteers to get this Pontiac ready, so this car give away was very special. This car was a perfect match for the person who would receive it. Focusing on all the tedious steps involved in preparing the car distracted me from the spirit of what we are doing here at The Crossing. But then I saw the excitement and the expression on the face of the one who received the car, and it all made sense. Mr. Cooper has attended this church for over a year now, having discovered us through our Lifelines recovery ministry. When asked what this car would mean to him, he started to get all excited, and talked about how he would pick up as many recovery people as possible and drive them to church in the donated car. I was so happy to hear that his heart was to reach people who need God, because that is what this church is all about, and that is the spirit we are celebrating in The Crossing's 20th anniversary. The reason that Cooper is so motivated to invite people who don't normally go to church is because "this church is so accepting". Clinton could not say thank you enough to all of us who donated resources and time. Sideways Production worked on the engine, the Pontiac dealership, Roberto's, and Carsmetics all donated parts, materials, and paint (all located on Harbor Boulevard). It was awesome to see how the community came together on these cars, all helping to meet the needs of Costa Mesa.

Stephen Fussle
Student Ministries Pastor
The Crossing Church

Monday, September 22, 2008

An Army of People!!!

Some amazing work was done at Estancia High School by over 1,000 people from The Crossing Church on Sunday, September 21nd. Just take a look at this video to see an army of people landscaping the quad area...

575 Meals by Karen

What a wonderful idea this was!! I really didn't think I was going to multiply my money much but I decided to go for it. I was able to multiply my money by 7! I looked at some websites The Crossing recommended & kept going back to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. I just made a donation of $143.70 which included 60 boxes of corn flakes and 216 boxes of macaroni & cheese. My family, friends, The Crossing & my donation will provide 575 meals. Praise God!


Estancia High School Principal says "Thank You to The Crossing!!"

Gifts that Bring Tears

Laura, a young single mother who has attended The Crossing for 9 years, was about to receive a gift from God that would change her life. Her story was filled with a heavy atmosphere of emotion as she told us where God had taken her. Her past life was filled with struggle and difficulty, but now she has a life where she feels like "God's special daughter", because of his lavish provision. She said that when she invited Jesus into her life that everything changed. Laura has no family in the area and she told the story of how The Crossing became her new family. The car would mean so much to Laura because much of her work involves driving people around, and now she can transport her family around safely. Laura wanted everyone who was involved with this loving gift, to know that she is so thankful, and considers us as her brothers and sisters. Check out the video below:

Stephen Fussle
Student Ministries Pastors
The Crossing

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Think Pink by Patti

The law firm I work for organized a team ("Think Pink") to participate in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure (5K run/walk) on Saturday, September 28th at Fashion Island. All proceeds from Race for the Cure will go toward breast cancer research. Team Think Pink began with 10 members and a $5,000 goal. We now have 60 team members, have raised $5,845.00 (to date), and have increased our goal to $10,000. I donated the money from The Crossing to team Think Pink to be matched by other participants.

The money donated by The Crossing will ultimately go to the Susan Komen foundation to support breast cancer research. Two of our attorneys and the former assistant office manager of our firm were diagnosed with breast cancer during the past year, so breast cancer research is very near and dear to our hearts.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Crossing On a ROLL

Another car was given away to celebrate The Crossings's 20th anniversary, and wow this church is on a roll! Bree has been attending this church for close to 3 years and was first drawn to Lifelines on Friday nights. When Bree started attending this church she stated that there was a spirit of love and acceptance at this church that was undeniable. When asked what the car would mean for her and her life Bree said that she was excited to be able to get to work and church more safely. Bree wanted to let everyone who was involved in helping with this car donation know that she is thrilled and so thankful for the car, and you can definitely notice her excitement on the video below:

Stephen Fussle
Student Ministries Pastor
The Crossing

For Tuberous Sclerosis by Debi

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

I have been challenged and would like you to join me. I have been given a gift from my church, The Crossing, of $20. They have challenged me to help my community with this gift.
It didn’t take long for me to come up with a way to use this gift. You see, I have been blessed with so many things, that it’s my turn to give back to you.
I will be holding a fund raiser for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance of O.C. (TSAOC)

I chose this organization because one of our very own young residents was born with a condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Everyday in the U.S., two children are born with it. On August 15, 2001 my neighbor’s daughter, Brenna, was one of the two born. TSC is in every cell and can affect every major organ.

This isn’t your ordinary fundraiser. In this fundraiser everyone gets something. I will be giving haircuts in exchange for your donations. I am matching my $20 and hope that you can join me in matching it as well. (All donations are welcomed.)

Please join me on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 2-6pm and Sunday, Sept. 21, from 3-6pm
21 Sand Dollar Ct., Newport Terrace. (Lower level)
Please help in making a difference.

Hope to see you this weekend!
Your neighbor,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Church this weekend...

This weekend we get to BE the church. We are moving our ENTIRE church this weekend to Estancia High School. Our desire throughout this ENTIRE month has been to be a blessing to our community. So we’ve been giving “new” used cars to people in need of transportation. Last weekend we gave away $20,000 to you, our church attendees, with the desire to multiply the money to impact the lives of people. This weekend our desire is to do something that will “bless” our local school system with NO STRINGS attached. Why? Because of the message it communicates. This weekend we get the privilege of DOING something HUGE for Jesus! You see...we ARE the message! You and I are called to “communicate” the Good News about Jesus every single day. Everything we do communicates a message…our life and lifestyle openly declares whether or not we love Jesus. Being a Christian is NOT simply about what we KNOW. It’s what we DO with what we know! And this weekend we get TO DO something BIG that will communicate loudly our love for people.

This weekend: Estancia High School
9:00 am - 12:00 pm Extreme School Makeover
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm Celebration Service

Directions to Estancia High School: Click Here

See you this weekend at Estancia High School,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor

Principle Phil D'Agostino is Excited about The Crossing coming to Estancia...

We are moving church on Sept 20th & 21st...

Many of you have already heard the news. We will not be having our regular church services the weekend of September 20th & 21st. Instead, on Sunday, September 21st we are packing up and doing a school makeover at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa, CA. The projects will take place from 9:00am-12:00pm and the entire family is encouraged to participate. This means no services at all on Saturday - everything will take place from 9:00am-12:00pm on Sunday. If you have not already signed up or if you need questions answered, email schoolproject@thecrossing.com.
Don't forget, we are moving church the weekend of Sept 20/21 to Sept 21st from 9:00am-12:00pm at Estancia High School for a school makeover!!

Directions to Estancia High School at 2323 Placentia Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3305 Total Time: 6 mins, Total Distance: 2.04 miles

1.Start at 2115 NEWPORT BLVD, COSTA MESA going toward W BAY ST go 0.2 mi0.2 mi
2.Turn RIGHT on W BAY ST go 0.38 mi0.58 mi
3.Turn RIGHT on HARBOR BLVD go 0.25 mi0.83 mi
4.Turn LEFT on VICTORIA ST go 0.75 mi1.58 mi
5.Turn RIGHT on PLACENTIA AVE go 0.46 mi2.04 mi
6.Arrive at 2323 PLACENTIA AVE, COSTA MESA, on the LEFT

Time: 6 mins, Distance: 2.04 miles

Helping TeWinkle middle school by Tammy Allee

Our family decided to help TeWinkle Middle School, where my sister works as a counselor. She is staff advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes "Huddle" (club) which meets monthly at lunch on campus. They just started last year, and by June, they had over 200 students attend their last meeting. They even took a bus full of students to FCA's Night of Champions, where 30 student said "YES" to God.

This year the FCA student leaders met and decided it would be a wonderful way to advertise if they were to purchase FCA T-shirts to wear to school. The total cost of 36 T-shirts came to $367.95. They will be customized with TeWinkle "Trojans" on them, along with the FCA logo.

This morning at my small group meeting of wonderful ladies, I asked if anyone would like to donate towards this worthy cause - and they did! The T-Shirts will be ordered today! and hopefully arrive before their first meeting this year. (As a side note- FCA will also be starting a FCA Huddle at Estancia soon!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mustard Seed Ranch by Kendra Strey

Friends and family:

On our 20-year anniversary, my church, The Crossing in Costa Mesa, launched a very neat project. The leadership gave away $20,000 to the congregation—some got a $20, some got a $10, others a $50—and challenged participants to try to multiply the money and then give it away to a need we find on our own.

My chosen charity is Mustard Seed Ranch, an offshoot program of the Orange County Rescue Mission. MSR is a working ranch in Warner Springs, a rural community between Temecula and Borrego Springs. It was founded on 1999 as a retreat for hurting youth where they can learn to build trust through animal-assisted programs.

The Children’s Ranch Program restores self-esteem in children who have been violated by adults. The kids actively work the ranch to establish trust with the animals. The process gives children a sense of accomplishment and builds self-worth.

My plan to multiply my $20 is by asking those who have the means to match it. I will bring the contributions with me when I visit the ranch on September 27 for a volunteer workday. MSR uses donations to fund its programs, which it does not charge the youth participants for. Their operational costs include providing room and board for youth camps and the upkeep of the ranch animals.

It will be fun to see how this works out!

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Additional Cause by Fran Bracey

Hands of Mercy (City Gate) has played a role in the community of our church as well as those living within the 10-15 minute drive from the crossing (the 250,000 that are not going to church) by supplying food to those in need. There are a number of people from The Crossing and Lifelines that have gone to Pastor Glenn Whitaker for food and toiletries and I think that it would be a blessing to them if they too were included in this money giveaway.

Pastor Glenn Whitaker
City Gate (Hands of Mercy)

The Challenge by Christine Fredlov

Dear Family and Friends,
Today we returned from our home church, The Crossing, faced with a challenge!! The Crossing is celebrating it's 20yr anniversary of becoming a church and they are looking at ways to reach out and give back even MORE to the community!! So today our Pastor Tim Celek challenged us to help him reach this goal. The Crossing distributed $20,000 in cash ($20, $50 and $100 bills) to each family attending services this weekend. Each family that accepted this challenge was to open the "sealed" envelope after church services to find out what amount we had been given to start our challenge with! Well, the Fredlovs received $20 with the challenge to make it grow to 5x the amount ($100) and then decide on a non-profit organization that we would like to GIVE!!! SO we are matching that $20 ourselves and Cassi is taking her recycling this week and donating all of what she makes to this challenge. We are offering family and close friends the opportunity to help us reach and even exceed our goal!! I mentioned that we are to chose a non-profit organization that we feel could benefit from this challenge and their are SOOOO many of them it was hard to chose. I was reading the Sunday paper when I saw an ad for an organization called CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, after reading about their services and what their goals are as an organization, we chose that this will be the non-profit that we will support with this challenge. You can read more about what CASA does by visiting their web site @ www.casaoc.org and see how this amazing organization reaches out to help less fortunate children in the communities surrounding us. I think those of us that have children realize how blessed we are in the families and friends that we have...what we need to remember is not all children are as fortunate as ours. This is our way to help!!

Christine, Jan, Adam & Cassi Mae

Discovering God's Generosity

You could sense the anticipation on Ernie's face as he sat nervously in the room telling his story about how God had changed his life. After years of running from God, Ernie realized his desperate need for a change.

Someone told him about Lifelines on Friday nights here at The Crossing, and when he first checked us out, it was so different than any church he had ever visited. The people were real and authentic, not ashamed to acknowledge their struggles, and to top it off there was rock music.

Now things are looking up for Ernie, and it is incredible to see how God has worked through this church! After 8 months of sobriety, a solid job, and a community/family/church that loves him, God is not done yet. The anticipation grew as we led Ernie blindfolded outside to discover a beautiful red Jeep. The first look on his face says it all, sheer shock!

Ernie wanted to thank everyone who was involved for using their gifts to serve others. He said that he appreciated the obedience it took for people to give their valuable time and resources when they could have been doing something else. Now Ernie is excited to finish school. One of the things that struck me was that Ernie said that there are times that he wants to be a man and fend for himself, but sometimes God says no! Not no to being a man, but yes to being a man who trusts and humbly relies on God's provision.

Stephen Fussle
Student Ministries Pastor
The Crossing

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Causes in our Community

Here are some ideas for how to determine your "Cash for Causes" cause:
Questions to ask yourself: “What am I passionate about?” “What burdens me?” “What excites me?” “What is important to me?”What you can pray: “God, help me see people the way you see them.” “God, give me Your vision for how I should invest this money in my community.” “God, please orchestrate people and circumstances to multiply this money.”
What you can read: The Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25:11-30, The Kingdom Assignment, by Denny & Leesa Bellesi, Log on to http://www.kingdomassignment.com/

As you think creatively about how God is calling you to invest and multiply the money you have received for Cash for Causes, the following Food Banks, Soup Kitchens and Shelters may serve as resources for you. For example, perhaps you’d like to multiply your money in order to support one of these local organizations, as they are always looking for people to partner with them. If you choose to contact them, be sure to explain Cash for Causes, and that you are from a local church in Costa Mesa, called, The Crossing.

S.O.S. (Share Our Selves) (949) 642-3451
Red Wagon Homeless Ministry (714) 979-4422
The Lighthouse Costa Mesa (949) 548-7161
Christian Volunteers (714) 556-3605
O.C. Rescue Mission (714) 247-4300
Community Action Partnership of O.C. (714) 897-6670
Second Harvest Food Bank of O.C. (714) 771-1343
Mana From Heaven (714) 993-3370
Salvation Army (714) 384-0481
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen (949) 548-8861
SPIN (Serving People In Need) (714) 751-1101
South Coast Children's Society http://www.sccskids.org/
Salvation Army Hospitality House (714) 542-9576
House of Hope (714) 247-4341
Mercy House Transitional Living (714) 836-7188
The Sheepfold (714) 237-1444
House of Hope & OC Rescue Mission (714) 247-4300
Birth Choice http://www.birthchoiceoc.com/
Toby's House http://www.tobyshouse.com/
Alex's Lemonade Stand (866) 333-1213

For more information, please email cashforcauses@thecrossing.com

How to play "Bigger or Better" by Brian Anderson

Idea for multiplying your "Cash for Causes" money for your cause...play the game, “Bigger or Better,” using the instructions below:

  1. Take a $1 or $5 bill from the money you have been given for Cash for Causes.

  2. Approach a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbor and say, “I am trying to raise money for (identify your cause), and could use your help by playing ‘Bigger or Better’ with me. I will give you this $1 bill if, in exchange for it, you will give me something bigger or better.”

  3. Once they give you something bigger or better, take that item and go to a second person, challenging them to exchange that item for something bigger or better.

  4. Continue approaching family, friends, co-workers and neighbors until you have something of great value to contribute to your cause.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Unsuspecting Family Gets Free Car

A family not attending The Crossing received a beautiful Honda last Thursday night, exclaiming: "We can't believed we were picked to receive this car!"

When asked what a car would mean for the family to have a car, Rebecka, the mother stated: "Life has been hard without a car, especially riding my bike everywhere, but now I can drop the kids off at school and get to work."

You could tell they were looking for the catch and strings attached but that never came. She just wanted everyone who was involved in this act of kindness to know that she was very thankful, especially for being picked for this car. You could see her shy boys Derick and James faces light up as they sat in the beautiful white Civic and it sunk in that it was their family car. God is faithful even when we don't expect it, and he knows our needs, even before we realize that we have a need. Check out the video on YouTube:

Stephen Fussle
Student Ministries Pastor
The Crossing Church

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Answered Prayer by Debbie Stawarz

I wanted to share a little about the chain of events that took place leading up to me being blessed with this truck. Last year in October, my friend & I started praying about me acquiring a truck and getting a lift on my chair installed. At that time, my physical therapist was trying to help my shoulder along so I could bypass on having surgery. Other people to pray also.

Then in February my doctor decided I needed shoulder surgery. I didn't want to do this as I feared losing some of my independence and needing much help from my friends. As the pain was getting to unbearable I had to take a leap of faith and go ahead with the surgery. I was told that I would probably be able to start lifting my chair back into my car again in 6 to 8 weeks. After the surgery I found out it was worse than anticipated. So now the recovery is taking longer than and not as smooth as we had planned. Then as I started to ask how long before I could lift my chair into my car they said 6 months maybe and possibly never again.

As we continued to pray and asked more people to pray about my situation, I knew that the Lord had a plan in this. One thing is I've always been independent and didn't like having to rely on others let alone ask for help. So during this time I've had to ask my friends, neighbors and strangers for help. If I needed to go somewhere during the day, I would try to find a neighbor and ask them if they could put my chair in the car. Then I would go to my destination and ask a stranger if they could help me get my chair out of the car. This was so out of my comfort zone but the Lord was helping to grow me through this situation. During this time, I knew the Lord had a plan and that I just needed to be faithful in trusting his plans and timing.

In July, my friend called me about an email and some info she had. I had no idea what she was talking about until the next day. I then learned about the email she sent to The Crossing regarding the Car Giveaway that is a part of the 20th Birthday Celebration. So if it hadn't been for my friend and the Lord speaking through her heart, I would never have applied. So now this is another opportunity to share with people how the Lord works in our lives at His pace and time when we are faithful and obedient to Him. Also that PRAYER WORKS. Through this I've also grown in my faith and have been given the opportunity to call on the Lord daily and be able to know He is at my side during this all.

So I thank the Lord, The Crossing and all who are involved for Blessing my life and giving me my independence back. I also thank the Lord for helping me grow in an area that had such a stronghold on y life and giving me a change in heart.

Sincerely with Christ's love,

Debra Stawarz

September 11th by Tim Celek

Have you ever said, “My how time seems to fly by!” or “Where did all the years go?” Looking in the mirror this morning, Thursday, September 11th, these were my exact sentiments. Now a days, September 11th is remembered for “tragic” reasons, but for me, September 11th also holds “positive” memories. It was Sunday, September 11, 1988 that Sue and I launched The Crossing.

A TON has changed in the last 20 years! I don’t have much hair, and what I do have is gray, which is a good reason to keep it shaved. I used to wear glasses, now I have contacts. My kids are grown. They’re no longer the 1 & 3 yr. old little girls who used to love to spin and twirl in their skirts.

However, here’s what hasn’t changed…

• I continue to believe that God called me to do what I get to do and I cannot believe I have this awesome priviledge.

• I continue to believe we live in a world that desperately needs the forgiveness, hope and love that ONLY comes through Jesus.

• I continue to believe that the church is the only hope for this world and it’s the only institution in our world that provides LASTING impact.

• I continue to believe that our best days as a church are AHEAD of us.

It’s staggering what’s happened in the last 20 years! I’ve seen thousands of people commit to saying YES to Jesus. I’ve seen first hand how people have experienced physical, relational and spiritual healing as a result of the power of God.

What will the next 20 years be like? Based on my 20 years of experience, I am pretty sure God has a TON of surprises for me and for you, surprises that will take us beyond our wildest imaginations!

As we continue to celebrate our 20th anniversary, let me say, DO NOT MISS this weekend! We’ve got some pretty awesome stuff planned, something we have NEVER done before! You do not want to miss out!!!

Already, through this weekend we will have given away 4 cars! You can read more about it on this blog.

I want to remind you, next weekend, September 20 & 21, we are moving our church services to Estancia High School. So NO services on our Newport Blvd. campus, we are doing an EXTREME makeover at Estancia from 9:00am - 12:00pm. Everyone at The Crossing is participating. You can get directions by clicking this link:

Directions to Estancia High School: Click Here

20 years is a long time. God has been VERY GOOD to our church! See you this weekend, remember, you do not want to miss out!!! Don’t say I didn’t tell you so…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cash for Causes by Brian Anderson

With Cash for Causes, our goal is simple: get in touch with the heart of God for our community; to see people as He sees them, and do something tangible to help. In order to accomplish this, every household attending The Crossing one weekend in September will receive a packet of information, and a particular denomination of currency. With this packet and the enclosed money, each person will be challenged to contribute toward a local cause and creatively multiply the money in order to support that cause. Our step of faith is to believe that the money we distribute that weekend will multiply at least ten-fold during the month of September. We are trusting God to move in miraculous ways through you!

For more information on Cash for Causes email: cashforcauses@thecrossing.com

First Car Givaway

Well it's hard to beat hearing directly from people who's lives have been impacted throughout the 20 year history of The Crossing, but this one takes the cake! Our first car giveaway was given to the Jacinto family, and believe me it was incredible. Below is a letter written by Jay Jacinto:

I just wanted to personally send a message to you and everyone involved with the “20 Cars In 20 Days” ministry to say “THANK YOU!” a million times over. It is still a surreal reality we are living in, even AFTER 24 hours. We both keep looking out the front room window into the carport, thinking to ourselves, “It is STILL there!”

The amount of love that has been poured out upon my family is just overwhelming. Since receiving the car, we have spoken to many family and friends, explaining how the Lord has blessed us, and how this has solidified even more our faith and trust in the Lord, and what HE is ABLE to do.

I do not think the amount of smiles and hugs given the other day can express enough gratitude and praise for what has happened. Albeit, the ultimate praise and thanks is given to our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, however, thanks and praise must be given to those who are working within this ministry . I know, without a shadow of a doubt, the other vehicles set aside are for other families whom the Lord has “hand-picked” as the recipients, and that the cars will be a great blessing in their lives, as it has been in ours.

I know I am on the “receiving” end of this blessing for this ministry, but, if you could, please provide me an update on when the other vehicles have been awarded, and to whom they have been awarded to (so to add them on my prayer list).

I pray this ministry continues to impact the lives of those involved just as much as those who will be receiving these vehicles, now and in the future.

Have a blessed holiday weekend, and I hope to hear from you soon!

In Christ’s Name,

Jay Jacinto

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Special Month at The Crossing by Tim Celek

My kids are grown, not gone, just grown! Yet, I remember this “Back to School” time of the year well, particularly the elementary years. My kiddos would carefully plan out their first day’s wardrobe. Their hair would be meticulously combed then braided and a ribbon would be placed in just the right spot.

Then with great anticipation we’d ALL climb into the car and off to school we’d go. The school parking lot was PACKED, unlike any other time of the year!

Upon arrival, you’d see Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas gathered; some with cameras and others with video cameras, carefully recording the auspicious occasion of the beginning of another school year. The first day of school is definitely one of those days where everyone from teachers to administrators to parents to children, seem to LOOK FORWARD to this DAY with great anticipation.

Well, I must say, I am LOOKING FORWARD to this ENTIRE fall season at The Crossing, particularly the month of September. I want to encourage you, DO NOT MISS one weekend this month. The Crossing is going to celebrate being 20 years old. However, it will be in Crossing-style, meaning it won’t be just about us, it will be about OTHERS!

As of this date we’ve had 13 cars donated! Throughout the month of September, we’re GIVING away these cars to people who have a very specific need for transportation. Yeah God! You’ll see and hear more on the weekends in September!

Over $200,000 of impact will specifically take place in the Coastal Community area through the month of September. You’ll see and hear more on the weekends in September!

An EXTREME makeover will be taking place on a High School campus in Costa Mesa. We ALL get to participate as we "DO" church on Sunday, September 21 on the campus of Estancia High School. NO CHURCH services that weekend on The Crossing campus. We’re going to have church by being the church.

To sum it all up, I AM LOOKING FORWARD to the month of September. We get to make the name of Jesus famous in our world, in our community!

I look forward to seeing you THIS WEEKEND,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor of The Crossing

P.S. Jot it down now, the weekend of September 20 & 21, we will NOT have services on the campus of The Crossing. Church will be held at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa.