Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giving & Receiving

I've been asked two primary questions over the last couple of days. First, "Did you have a good Christmas?" Second, "What did you get? What did Santa bring you? Was Santa good to you this year?"
Most people don't seem to pay much attention to the response to the first question. We just expect to hear, "Yes, it was great." And even if it wasn't all that great, we don't tell anyone, right? However the answer to the second question brings the liveliest of discussions.
We like sharing with others about what we received. And it's quite interesting to hear about what others might have gotten during their Christmas exchanges. Great joy and exuberance displays itself in the body language and facial communication, not to mention the words of those who are excited over what they received.

As we're about to close the year out at The Crossing, I wish you could see the great excitement and joy I'm experiencing over what we, The Crossing, have been given over this past year. In particular, the giving of your financial resources! Your dollars, given generously, make a HUGE difference in the lives of SO many. The stories of impact of people in our church, community and world many times go unheard and unseen, but believe me, it's BIG!
As we close out the year, I want to remind you that if you are planning to give a year end financial gift and have it "count" for the 2010 tax year, you must either give online (use this link) or send in your contribution so that it's postmarked on or before December 31. Thanks so much.
I'm looking forward to the new year. As a church we will be experiencing so many new opportunities. It promises to be another big year to make the name of Jesus famous!

Happy New Year,
Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let it Rain, Let it Rain, Let it Rain!

As a youngster growing up in Northwest Ohio, I looked forward to seeing loads of snow leading up to our Christmas school break. Some of you So. Cal. natives may not be able to relate, but I LOVED to play in the snow, the more the merrier! We didn't always have it, but when we did, particularly on our Christmas break, my friends and I would build snow hut villages connected by a series of massive tunnels. Hours upon hours of creativity and ingenuity would flow. We hated it when our parents would whistle or call us to come in for dinner.
Those days are long gone. Southern California is now my home. My kids never got to experience such thrills. In fact, this entire week for us in So. Cal., instead of singing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…", our chorus could be, "Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!"
I'm here to tell you rain isn't as fun as snow. The other thing I want to tell you, don't let a little rain keep you away from celebrating the Christ of Christmas.
We have 8 Christmas services this week to serve you. The Christmas week services start on Wednesday, December 22 at 7 p.m. They continue on Thursday night, December 23 at 6:30 & 7 p.m. Last, on Christmas Eve, December 24, there are 5 services; 3, 3:30, 4:30, 5, 6 p.m. All the services are identical. We have children's programming for nursery and preschool. All elementary children and teens will take part in the services.
I look forward to seeing you, as well as someone you've invited this Christmas season. I can't guarantee you won't get a little wet, but I can say for the most part that a little rain never hurt anyone.
Merry Christmas,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Invitation

"Your R.S.V.P. is greatly appreciated!" We've all seen these 4 letters (R.S.V.P.) at the end of an invitation, but what do they mean?

Officially…these initials stand for the French phrase "repondez s'il vous plait" which means "please respond." This means that the host/hostess would like to know whether you plan to attend his/her party. And technically, when R.S.V.P. is written on a personal invitation, it isn't an optional request. It means you must inform the host/hostess whether or not you will attend.

Maybe it's me, but in So. Cal., does anyone actually respond to anything? Sure my wonderful bride does, but does anyone else? Come on, really! These days many seem to function with the idea that if something better comes up, I won’t be there, but if it doesn't, then you can certainly count on me for your gig. This "keep your options open" mentality wears at the very fabric of commitment.

Think of the very first Christmas when Mary was invited to be the mother of Jesus, what if she said to the angel, "Let me think about it; I'll have my people call your people."

God's been in the invitation business from the very beginning of time. In fact, this weekend we're kicking off a brand new series titled, "The Invitation." We can learn a whole lot from each person who was there that very first Christmas.

So consider this your personal invitation. I'm letting you off the hook, you don't need to R.S.V.P., but it would be great to see you and some of your friends this coming weekend at The Crossing.

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing