Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There is A LOT right in this world!

What type of person are you?

Cup half full? Cup half empty?
Partly sunny? Partly cloudy?
Optimist? Pessimist?
Positive? Negative?
Content? Discontent?
Satisfied? Wanting more?
Tigger? Eeyore?

What type of person are you? Yeah, I know...most of you will say, “Well, it depends...” Sure it depends, however, if you find yourself traveling in the right column more times than you care to admit...take some time between now and Sunday and BE THANKFUL! Be thankful not just for one thing, but for TEN things. Write them down. Look at them and then thank God for your “Top Ten”.

Who knows, the exercise might EXCITE you so much you won’t stop at ten. God’s Word says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice!”
Sure there’s a ton wrong in this world, but over the next 5 days, spend some time in the “left column”, looking at the brighter side because there’s a TON for which to be thankful!!!

In the weeks ahead, I want to invite you to engage in some volunteering opportunities. There will be 7 opportunities at our Christmas services the week of Christmas Eve to serve with Children or our Guest Services ministry.

Also, we are again hosting our Lifelines’ Christmas dinner benefitting those in need within our community. These are opportunities to give back a bit of your time, usually no more than 90 minutes.

Finally, why don’t you “evite” someone to one of our Christmas services. Please click here. There’s nothing better than seeing “church” through the eyes of a guest. Plus, who knows, your guest just might cross the proverbial “line of faith” and give their heart to Jesus this Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

Happy Thanksgiving! Be grateful, I am sure am!!!

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Personal GO Network

I don’t know about you, but in order for me to stay engaged and connected in the process of pursuing something God has put on my heart, I need someone or something to help me along the way. Unfortunately my good intentions or the sense of urgency I feel when God initially prompts or pushes me to stretch my faith just don’t last. Yes, I’m afraid that if it wasn’t for the an alarm clock or my wife’s gentle reminders there are many a workout, meeting or significant appointment with God, or special person in my life that I would have missed out on.

We all have special people in our lives, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors who don’t realize how much they matter to God. Many of us have sensed God prompting us to reach out for them to show and share God’s love to them in practical and real ways. We remember to pray for them occasionally and reach out for them sporadically because we have nothing that helps keep us in the game.

What if we created a “Personal GO Network” at The Crossing where every month you received ideas, insights and information that that could help you follow through with the people God has placed on your heart to reach out to and you could hear inspiring stories of how God was working in other peoples networks? Would you want to be a part of something like this? If so, send an e-mail to put “PERSONAL GO NETWORK” on the subject line, tell me you are “IN” and give me the first name of three people God has prompted you to reach out for.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Ian Stevenson
Pastor of GO Ministries
(949) 764-1521
The Crossing

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Professional Football and The Crossing

This past weekend I attended an NFL game, San Diego Chargers against Philadelphia Eagles. I’m NOT a Chargers fan, I was there to root for the Eagles and Brent Celek (87), their tight end. Eagles should have won the game, but that’s another story. The day before I had the opportunity to witness first hand, USC get resoundingly WHIPPED by Stanford.

What struck me for both games is the NUMBER of people who get there early. Charger fans and Trojan fans were celebrating, partying, interacting and socializing. It was AMAZING! Sure the alcohol flowed freely, yet putting that aside, in both cases it was a “community” of fans having a great time. It was pretty cool.

I got to thinking what we have to celebrate each and EVERY weekend is something WAY better than any sports team. The camaraderie and the community and the celebration ought to be OVER THE TOP when we get together as Christians to focus on JESUS.

So this weekend get to The Crossing early; let’s party, let’s celebrate, let’s interact. It WILL be good, REALLY good. It’s okay to let loose, be full-on fans of our Savior.

This past weekend we knocked it out of the park at the School Makeovers that took place at Paularino, Sonora, Pomona, and Wilson elementary schools.

Finally, we have an opportunity to care for our community through Project Angel Tree. Sponsor a child this Christmas. This is a BIG deal for kids who don’t have all that much.

Okay, this weekend, don't miss it! I'm calling all FANS of Jesus Christ.

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing
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God's Love by Patrick Detken

Its overwhelming to consider God’s love, it really is. But when we stop and think of all God has done for us , the many times He has forgiven us and given us a second chance it can change us.

The scripture tells us God IS Love! And this weekend we were reminded that a well lived life has EVERYTHING to do with LOVE. Everyone of us will leave something behind when we die, the question is what will our legacy be?

This week consider how fear has kept you from risking, from trusting or from trying. And instead of allowing fear to guide your outcome simply allow God to love you and give you what you need in order to live a fully devoted life…you won’t regret it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Caged animals

I’m out of town and I’m driving down your typical suburban street when ALL of a sudden I noticed about 10 ELK. Elk are BIG animals. I’ve hunted elk. Elk are crafty creatures, hard to find, but here they were, right in the middle of suburbia...flippin amazing! The bad news is they were caged...stuck. Safe? Yes! But dangerous? No! In fact, I pulled over and found a double barrier fence complete with barbed wire. They definitely weren’t getting out.

What makes me SICK is the same is true of many Christians, no longer dangerous. The only difference is that we’re walled up behind this thing called the church. People of The Crossing, this CANNOT happen to us! Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:18 (The Message), “a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.” The Crossing must be a church SO EXPANSIVE with ENERGY that not even the gates (fences) of hell can stop it.

Here’s the deal...THIS Saturday, November 14 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., we’re going to knock down some gates! There WILL BE energy. The Crossing is moving off campus to our community, four Elementary Schools within the Newport Mesa School District. You pick the school: Paularino, Sonora, Wilson, or Pomona. The church unleashed. This is our opportunity to make the name of Jesus FAMOUS! Sign up NOW!

Finally, it always humors me...before Halloween decorations are taken down, Christmas items go up in stores all across Orange County. Santa’s house at Fashion Island was already being positioned and the Christmas tree being put into place. Shoot, whatever happened to Thanksgiving?

At The Crossing, we’re preparing for Christmas of a different kind. Check out the Angel Tree booth on campus. This is a phenomenal, tangible expression of love for of those in prison. They are often forgotten. This is our chance to care, to go beyond our borders and barriers as a church into the lives of those outside of its walls. The cost is minimal, the impact profound!

Loving being dangerous,
Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Home from India by Ian Stevenson

Well we made it back. The traveling went well, however the trip took somewhat of toll. A few of us were struggling with some congestion and flu like symptoms upon return and one of us spent Sunday throwing up, but I believe we would all say it was worth it.

The team was incredible working together, encouraging each other and staying focused on our purpose throughout. Each person brought perspective, and insight to the various things we were involved with:

As I reflect on the time spent in Raxaul, playing with and encouraging the orphans, praying over, connecting and working with the young men Albert is training, praying over the lepers and talking about our partnership with Albert, it wasn’t necessarily easy and fun all the time, but God was clearly working. I will always remember the smiles and laughter. I will never forget, the looks in the eyes of the lepers just longing for us to pray for them. The time in Raxaul has a huge ripple affect as these folks all know we came half way around the world to show and share God’s love with them in very real and practical ways.

The time in Delhi at the Compassion International project in the slum was inspiring to us all. Pastor Abraham, Sundandita, the leader of the project, all the staff, the microfinance work and the 299 children in the project showed us how hope and empowerment is made possible through the local church, even in the most dire of circumstances, like we saw in that slum. I kid you not the smell, fly’s and living conditions there are indescribable, unforgettable and deplorable yet it is all these people know and it is amazing how God is working in the middle of it all.

Coming back after having had the opportunity to see and experience these things is always unique. You are always more grateful for our country and all God has blessed us with, good roads, order in the traffic system, systems for dealing with trash, water, electricity, housing … WE ARE SO BLESSED. So as we are reminded of how blessed we are the logical next question you tend to ask yourself is what am I/we doing with all I/we are blessed with? We can make such a difference in the life of a child, sponsoring them. We can share our heart, resources and things with others so they to can feel blessed. This team was a blessing on this trip and will continue to figure out how to be even more of a blessing.

Thanks to each one of you who were part of this trip with us! YOU ALSO WERE A BLESSING, and it was our honor to be the ones to deliver that to our friends in India.

ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 23, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on the church campus we will be having out INDIA CELEBRATION. Join us bring your friends and family, see the pictures, hear the stories!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spiritual Retreat this Saturday

What’s a spiritual retreat? It’s a personal and experiential way to experience Jesus.

This Saturday, The Crossing has a Spiritual Retreat in a unique setting, O’Neil Regional Park at Trabuco Canyon (about 30 minutes south). The retreat is from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the cost is $10 per person plus $5.00 per car for parking. This year's theme is "How to Grow Close to God."

During the retreat, you will be led through a spiritual journey that will include:
  • Prayer
  • Extensive solitude
  • Transformational conversations
  • Teaching by Dr. Bill Dogterom.

Dr. Bill Dogterom is a Professor at Vanguard University where he teaches Pastoral Ministries and Spiritual Formation. He has been a key note speaker at 2 Men’s Retreats at The Crossing and was our midweek teacher for a year. He is loved by our church and we are excited about having him on this very special day.

If you are interested in attending this year's spiritual retreat, contact Patrick Detken or go online and register.