Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Loving 4th of July weekend!

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed fireworks. I still stand in amazement and find myself “oohing” and “aahing” every time I see a fireworks show, no matter the location. The first place we lived when we moved to So. Cal., we could watch the fireworks at Disneyland from our apartment balcony. This even led me to purchase season passes through the years to Disneyland so I can revel in the awesome pyrotechnical display. I’ve even been known to buy tickets to Angels baseball on Friday nights just to enjoy the night-ending fireworks display.

If you live in Costa Mesa, you can still legally purchase and set off “safe and sane” fireworks. It’s where I live, so more than likely I’ll be in front of my house or someone else’s, lighting up the Sunday night sky.

In fact, if you’re buying fireworks this year, I want to encourage you to purchase them at the campus of The Crossing. The fireworks booth will be open from Thursday, July 1st – Sunday, July 4th from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. All the proceeds go to the Maple Learning Center. The Learning Center encourages kids on the Westside of Costa Mesa in their academics. So it’s a great get to have a “blast” and kids will be encouraged!!!

Plus we’ve got some exciting stuff for you this weekend at The Crossing. You do not want to miss out!

Enjoy the holiday weekend,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's time to Party!

We are three weeks into the new series, “Our Father” and it’s a real hit! The topic of prayer is hitting all time rave reviews. From what I’m hearing, many of you are communicating with God more than ever before, which is AWESOME! Do not miss this coming weekend; we’ll be looking at the phrase, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...”

On another high note, make sure you come to the beach this Sunday afternoon, June 27th at Corona del Mar State Beach at 4 p.m. We are having our Annual Beach Baptisms! This is one truly prolific event...and it’s not because of the weather, but the weather is always amazing. It’s not because of the food, even though there will be some. This day is ALL about altered lives for Jesus!

All kinds of exciting events take place throughout the year at The Crossing. We remember Jesus’ birth on Christmas, His death on Good Friday and Jesus’ rising from the dead on Easter. These services, rightfully so, direct people to the “heart” of the matter, which is that Jesus came to transform lives both now and for ALL eternity! Yet this Sunday afternoon’s event at 4 p.m. is one of our annual favorites!

Why? Because this Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., we get to rejoice at the supernatural movement of God’s Holy Spirit in the lives of well OVER 100 people; boys, girls, men and women! So, let’s ALL come to the beach ready to party God’s we take JOY in seeing the fruit of CHANGED lives in Jesus’ name!

I can’t wait to see you this weekend at church and at the beach!!!

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Most impressed, part 2

God is doing something. Care is being provided. Lives are being changed. Watch the video of how two children's lives have been cared for AND then read one man's story of how gripped his heart to provide such care...his name is J. Michael Declues.

He is a part of The Crossing and The Crossing Uganda Impact Team. He accompanied me on this trip to Uganda. He wanted me to see that there is a difference being made in the lives of Double Orphans through Mosaic Vision.

My prayer is God will grip your heart and you'll want to do the same!!! See you this weekend at The Crossing as we begin a new series on the Our Father, the Lord's Prayer.


Tim Celek

Hello everyone, my name is J. Michael Declues and in 2007 I went on my first mission trip to Rukungiri, Uganda with seven other travelers from The Crossing. We were led and guided by Micah and Shannon Irvine of Mosaic Vision.

Their ministry was to support and show the love of Jesus to the most deprived orphans of the region. These were the double orphans or child-headed homes---children who had lost both parents and their close relatives to HIV AIDS.

We visited the dwellings of these children, and their conditions were so inhumane and deplorable, that I was filled with mixed emotions of brokenness, frustration and anger.

On the second day, we visited the home of Daniel and Dorcus. They were the first double orphans to be assisted by Mosaic Vision and the difference compared to the other children was astonishing. They were bright and hopeful about the future and their living conditions were decent and healthy.

Dorcus is positive for HIV and very shy and sweet. Daniel was exuberant and spoke of his love for Mosaic Vision and how they had rescued him and his sister from a sure death. His love and trust in Jesus reflected in his eyes and in his words.

When he discovered that I was an attorney, his smile got even brighter since that was his dream career goal. We had a meaningful discussion about the Law and the impact that good attorneys can have in uplifting Uganda.

I discovered that Daniel and Dorcus did not have sponsors, which is critical for maintaining their support for a decent home, healthcare, food and school fees.

There was no way I could live and permit these two wonderful children to ever deteriorate back to their former impoverished and hopeless lives. Sponsoring them was one of the best decisions of my life.

Being able to visit and interact with them for the last four years in Rukungiri is an immeasurable blessing. Our love and commitment to each other is for an eternity!

Thanks for reading,

J. Michael Declues

Excited about the new series, Our Father, the Lord's Prayer

Many people know it. Some, like me, said it before sporting events. Some churches say it out loud every weekend. What is it? At times it’s called the Lord’s Prayer. Others often refer to it as the "Our Father". Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13 said, “This then is how you should pray...”

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

It’s pretty exciting, really...Jesus gave us a pattern for prayer. Think of it, the one who regularly spent time communicating with his Father. The one who has the power to answer our prayers. It is he who gave us a pattern for prayer.

So I’m stoked to start a new series this weekend. I can’t wait to see YOU. Make sure you invite someone! Someone who needs to pray. Someone who needs prayer. Someone looking for answers to their prayers. This series is guaranteed to have immediate impact.

As you get time, please pray for me. I make my way back from Uganda this week. What God has allowed me to experience, I’ll not soon forget. In fact, check out a bit of what God’s done in me and in Africa. In each country I’ve visited this year, it’s always been a bitter sweet departure. However, I am very much looking forward to re-uniting with my family and our church.

See you this weekend,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

We MUST never forget!

"This photo looks like nothing more than slabs of cement, sort of patio-esque, but it is so much MORE! This is a photo of where I was today. It is a "mass" grave where the remains of over 250,000 people are buried.

It was only a few days ago, that we in the US celebrated Memorial Day. Unfortunately, these days many only see it as a day off from work. A day to clean, head to the beach, BBQ or simply hang around one's home. But Memorial Day is SO much more than that, it's a day we honor those who have given lives and shed blood.

There is another very important Memorial Day, April 7. It happens to take place in the country where I'm writing this at the present time, Rwanda. It is a day to remember the over 1 MILLION, men, women, boys and girls who were slaughtered through systematic genocide.

These are just a few...may we NEVER forget them!!!

Bernadine, hacked to death by machete
Francine, hacked to death by machete
Fabrice, clubbed to death
Ariane, stabbed in the eyes & head
David, tortured to death
Chanelle, hacked to death by machete
Fidele, shot in the head
Irene, grenade thrown in while taking a shower
Patrick, hacked to death by machete
Aurore, burnt alive
Hubert, shot to death
Fabrice, killed in a church
Yvonne, hacked to death by machete
Fillet, smashed to death against a wall
Thiery, hacked to death by machete

I should tell you, that these names were real human beings who matter to God. In fact, they were all children between the ages of 4 to 13. 1 million people died and the world did NOTHING!

But the church in Rwanda, now, is doing something; collectively they are repenting. A pastor, by the name of Eugene shared with me this scripture, as well as the story of Nehemiah.

He said, the entire Church in Rwanda has come together and said, "I'm sorry!" to God. I told him many had nothing to do with the atrocities that took place, but he said, "in reality we we've gotten on our knees and repented. As a result God has been healing our land."

Eugene said, "We are believing in 2 Chronicles 7:14...'Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.'"

Restore, indeed! The positive change in this country is staggering! Many attribute it to the mighty power of God's hand. Quite possibly, we, in the US could learn a thing or two from our Rwandan Christian friends.

There have been atrocities that have taken place and continue to take place on our soil. Hate and disdain leveled against women, children, African Americans, Hispanics, Japanese, etc., etc. and maybe, just maybe, God wants us to get on our knees and humble our prideful selves before he will heal our land.

Just a, I'm not sure we should ever forget!

Thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

P.S. Part 2 of Most Impressed coming tomorrow...check back