Wednesday, December 23, 2009


CHAZOWN is the Hebrew word for vision, not to be mistaken for calzone, the delicious Italian pastry stuffed with sauce, meet, vegetables … This past year over 100 people at The Crossing have been walking through the process of seeking God for his Chazown for their lives. It has been so great seeing people seek God in new ways for his call and purpose for their lives. As people have honed in on their Chazown, they have also evaluated next steps in their relationship with God, their relationship with others, their work lives, their health & fitness, as well as their finances so they could align their lives more effectively to be about what God wants them to be about. The ripple effect has been amazing as now those who went through Chazown themselves are now helping walk others through it.

If you have not gone through Chazown but would like to talk to a small group or ministry leader you may know OR e-mail he will help connect you to someone that could walk you through it.

For all of you that went through Chazown, I challenge you as we head into the New Year to set goals for yourselves for this year in the 5 areas outlined in the book that need to line up to really get after it, (relationship with God, relationship with others, health, work, finances) then share them with the person who you walked Chazown out with. You may also share them with the person you may be taking through Chazown, but keep the ball rolling folks. Remember Pauls encouragement in Phillipians chapter 3 and “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (you) heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Ian Stevenson
Pastor of GO Ministries

Monday, December 21, 2009

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Over the next few days of this Christmas season I will be visiting with my entire family. I am really looking forward to our time together, particularly the time when we watch some of our Christmas movie favorites. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Polar Express, Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Bishop’s Wife, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life…and there are MANY more!!!

I’m a sucker for the sappier, more emotionally moving ones of the bunch. In fact, I think Miracle on 34th Street just might be my favorite. I like this particular Christmas “flick” because at the core are the themes of “believing” and “giving,” and isn’t this what Christmas is ALL about…believing and giving! "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

I invite you to be a part of our Christmas Eve services where we will celebrate Jesus and the difference He makes in our lives.

Invite someone to come with you. The Christmas Eve service times are:
• Tuesday December 22 at 7:00 p.m.
• Wednesday December 23 at 6:30 & 7:00 p.m.
• Thursday December 24 at 3:00, 3:30, 4:30 & 5:00 p.m.
I look forward to seeing you over the next few days!

Merry Christmas,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

P. S. The weekend after Christmas day, Saturday December 26 and Sunday December 27, our weekend service times will remain as normal. Saturday, at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30, 9:30, 10:00, 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Upcoming Fuel Classes - save the date

FUEL Classes: These classes are designed to help people consider who God is, relate with Him personally, and grow spiritually.

  • When: January 12th or 14th, running 4 weeks, attend Tuesday or Thursday
  • Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Where: The Crossing Church campus
  • Cost: $10.00 per course
  • Childcare: Available for $5.00 per night. Please contact Tonia Manchester to RSVP.
    Topics: Bible Study, Spiritual Gifts, Discovery, Marriage Tune Up and more

You will be able to register for the classes starting December 21st on our website.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Avoiding a Horrific Car Crash!

Undoubtedly some of you have never heard of Simon and Garfunkel...which is okay...I’m still trying to figure out Lady Gaga. One of their songs goes like this, “Slow down, you move to fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones. Looking for fun and feeling groovy...” (Bet you haven’t seen that word in a while)!

I imagine many of us would feel pretty “groovy” if we would simply slow down. However, slowing down isn’t all that simple, is it? This past weekend, we kicked off a new series at The Crossing titled “This Christmas...”. The challenge was clear: This Christmas...Slow Down!

Slowing down takes thought and effort...our natural reflex is to speed up! We’ve been conditioned over the past years to hurry. Yet many took seriously the “personal training exercises” for practicing the discipline of “slowing.”

One person applied this past weekend’s message and on day one, they drove in the slow lane. Remember, this past Monday, it was raining. As a result of driving in the slow lane, they avoided a very serious car accident.

Here’s a sampling of some “slow down” exercises; give them a try:
  • Day One: Drive in the slow lane, exclusively
  • Day Two: Drive the speed limit on every road, street, and freeway
  • Day Three: Eat food slowly by chewing each bite 15 times before the next bite begins
  • Day Four: No multi-tasking, only do one thing at a time
  • Day Five: Silence, no outside audio stimulus of radios, ipods, tv, etc.
  • Day Six: Let two people go in front of you in line at a coffee shop or store
  • Day Seven: No pushing the “close door” button on an elevator

Look forward to seeing you this weekend for message number two in our series," This Christmas...",

Tim Celek

Lead Pastor

The Crossing

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This Christmas...

O come all ye faithful. Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Hark the Herald Angels Sing Joy to the World. Do you Hear what I hear? The music of Christmas is something that lives in our hearts all year long. The messages of peace, simplicity and joy remind us that we can be better, that our world can be better.

Join us for in the second week of the three week series as we reimind ourselves about the true message of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22: 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 23: 6:30, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 24: 3:00, 3:30, 4:30, 5:00 p.m.
*Elementary, Jr. and Sr. High School students will join their parents in the services.
*Nursery and preschool children's programming will be available at all the Christmas services.

Invite your friends and family to join you at one of the Christmas services.

Online invite: click here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Praying for our Partners

When I talk with our partners, they always emphasize prayer! In the underdeveloped world they know the power of prayer, many times it is their only option and they have learned it is the Best Option.

When they pray they pray with more faith than we in our world of plenty can only hope to muster up. They have seen God answer their prayers in miraculous ways. So they always ask me are we praying for them? Will we pray for them?

Please join me and our Impact Teams for each country in praying for our Partners.

This week please focus your prayer on India! I spoke with our partner this morning and he shared that we really need to pray for one of the boys in the orphanage named Andrew, who had to be rushed to the local hospital (which let me tell you is pretty simple) and that he is fighting for his life due to pneumonia.

The other children in the orphanage the ministry students in training and the community would all see God’s glory should he pull through, please join us in prayer.

Also for Christmas Albert and his family invite the community in for a “love feast” please pray that those who come, many of whom will be Hindu, will come to know the God of love who sent His son that first Christmas.

Pray also for the completion of Phase one of the ServLife Center, it should be done by March, so they can move onto their own land and begin to expand their ministry in the community. And finally please pray for the 13 church planters Albert, our partner is training, that God would help them learn all they need to be effective at planting new churches in places where there is no knowledge of God’s love.

Thanks for joining in the support of our partners, it means the world to them and does more than any of us really understand!

In His Strength,

Ian Stevenson
Pastor of GO Ministries

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thinking about giving up diet soda BUT...

Those who know me well know that I MUST have DIET Cola. You’ll notice I didn’t use the words Coke or Pepsi, cause when I’m “jonesing” for a diet cola, I’ll even go for the Super Chill (Albertsons brand). The Brand doesn’t matter! It’s whatever is cheapest at the time. In fact, I don’t like the caffeinated which some of you are probably saying right about now, “Why drink it then?”

Which is a GREAT question, one that I’ve been pondering the past few days. “Why drink it then?”

So you understand the kind of issue this is, I don’t just drink 1 can a day, try like 12 to 24 cans a day. Oh, before we go any further, DO NOT send me that stupid internet stuff about the dangers of “Equal” or “Splenda” or “saccharin”, nor the fabricated and photo-shopped pictures of nails that have been eaten by the chemicals in diet soda. All urban myths, I’m sure.

Anyway, I wanted you to know, I’m thinking seriously about giving up Diet Cola...I’m not sure I can, but I’ve got some reasons why I AM at least thinking about it. I may give it up before then, but in the New Year I’ll tell you a bit more why I’m thinking this way...but for now, I think it’s important to talk about Christmas.

We start a BRAND NEW series THIS WEEKEND at The Crossing. The series is simply titled, “This Christmas...” Make sure you are there this weekend. I know THIS weekend is for you! So do not miss out, in fact invite someone to join you.

Christmas is the time of the year where, if asked, people will generally say yes to attending a church. And I know this weekend will hit home no matter the person you invite! So go for it!

Thanks for reading...can’t wait to see you this weekend at The Crossing,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing
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P. S. If you are newer to The Crossing and you want to meet me and learn a bit more about the church, join me Sunday afternoon, December 13, from 4 - 7 p.m. on the campus of The Crossing for Starting Point. You can sign up by following this link.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Praying for our Partners

Our Partner Church in Uganda is involved in making a real difference in their community! They covet our prayers as they continue looking for ways to bring more hope and healing to Rukingiri. Please pray for Edward Muhima his wife Vasta, their children Gideon, Sara, who are looking for work and Peter & Mark who are finishing up their education. Below are some of the things they are giving thanks for and would love for us to join with them in praying for. Let’s really partner with them by bringing these things before the Lord.

· Medical Centre
o Give thanks and praise
§ For the safe arrival of a container of surgical and other medical equipment .
§ For the new Clinical Officer who is a man of great integrity and who knows the profession well
§ The Health Centre Committee who are men and women of great vision for the Centre and who willingly give of themselves to see the Centre improve and upgrade
§ For the Committee Chairperson who works within the District Health Department.
o Pray for
§ The provision of a Surgical Ward. Some money has be promised, but more needs to come to be able to build the Surgical Ward
§ A new Administrator who has knowledge of the health system, and who will be responsible for ensuring that the Centre runs well and to see the upgrade come to fruition . Pray that the person will be a self starter and will be creative in thinking through concepts and in making proposals
§ For the Medical Centre to achieve the status appropriate to becoming a small rural Hospital. The application process must begin on December 7th 2009. There needs to be an Architectural drawing of what is proposed, for this meeting

· NOKIDES [North Kigezi Diocese Empowerment Scheme]
o Give thanks and praise
§ That this programme is an expression of love which empowers the recipients to generate an income, and improve their standard of living.
§ Pray that the personnel will grow spiritually as they see the practical love of God.
o Pray for
§ More personnel to assist in administering the growing scheme and ensuring that all groups are visited regularly to encourage them in their businesses, and to carry out ongoing training
· Mosaic Vision - This programme cares for total orphans with child headed households
o Give thanks and praise
§ For the transformation of the lives of the children and young people, as they receive care in relation to school fees, clothes, housing, health care and food
o Pray for
§ The Diocese to be able to pay for more children, as the need is huge and many have to be turned away. This breaks Edward’s heart as he has to say No he cannot help.
· WATSAN [Water and Sanitation]
o Give thanks and praise
§ For this ongoing programme of bringing water closer to the people.
§ For the “Friends of North Kigezi” UK who have provided water tanks for a community of 1000 people.
o Pray for
§ The work to be able to continue as there is a desire to have access to gravity fed water.
· Children with Disabilities programme - This programme deals with children with disabilities, deformities and mental disabilities. Some are given operations, and some receive Occupational Therapy. The programme also trains and assists families to care for the children
o Pray for
§ Those who are helping the families cope with the disabled family member
§ Those who are educating the communities that disability is not inability, nor a reason to reject the person or their families.

Thanks for supporting our partners with your prayers, it’s awesome to see how God is working in and through our partners throughout the world.

In His Strength,

Ian Stevenson

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Special Thanks from Superintendent...

In a letter from Jeffrey C. Hubbard, Ed. D, Newport-Mesa Unified School District Superintendent...

Dear Pastor Celek:

Thank you for your work in organizing the efforts of volunteers with The Crossing Church for various projects related to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Over the past year, volunteers from The Crossing Church have made a significant positive impact on our schools. Last Spring, volunteers from The Crossing Church donated their time, energy and talents to beautify Estancia High School and Costa Mesa High School. At our Leadership Retreat this past August, volunteers served a pancake breakfast to all in attendance. In fact there was not enough work for all the volunteers, so some volunteers were seen walking the campus and picking up trash. Their desire to be of service to others was evident.

Earlier this month, volunteers from The Crossing Church coordinated school beautification events at four of our elementary schools. I've received messages from staff members that they were impressed with the efforts of the volunteers and thankful for their service. During this period of financial austerity in California and the nation, public schools are challenged with doing more with less. Volunteerism in the public schools is needed now more than ever. The Crossing Church has proven to be an organization that values our local public schools and shows their support through organizing these many valuable volunteer projects.

Thank you for your efforts in harnessing the power of volunteerism in our community and choosing to help our schools.

Jeffrey C. Hubbard, Ed.D