Friday, December 14, 2007

Remarkable!

Here is a quote from a book I've been reading..."The bottom line is this: You still have to be remarkable if you want to get remarked about." How true is that? The book I'm reading is a business book but I'm reading it with the mindset of Church. Applying this comment to the Church will do wonders. I have heard that 80% of Church growth comes from word of mouth. So, the question is what are people saying about the Church? We could get a billboard, run an ad in the paper, or do any other type of advertising and whatever message we want will get out. The problem, most of our growth doesn't come from that avenue. It comes from what the people who experience it are telling their friends and co-workers. So, if we want to be remarked about we must be remarkable in what we do. Does this mean perfection? Absolutely not! However, it does mean excellence. I have really been thinking alot about this lately. The secular world gives their "A" game but I think many times in the church we just do enough to get by from week to week. It's not easy, but it's our job as messengers of the greatest love story in the world to do a remarkable job, and if we do...we will be remarked about in a remarkable way!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brookland Christmas Parade: 3-peat


Yeah, we had two big guns...we shot t-shirts, candy, stuffed animals, a soda (not kidding here) & anything else we could fit down the barrel. It looked like it was going to rain the whole time but God held it off. I kid you not, it started pouring down rain when we pulled into the parking lot with the float. We had just enough time to race to the truck and pull away. Great timing! It was awesome...you should've been there.

Friday, December 7, 2007

1st Place Float!


Well, as you can see from the Jonesboro Sun...we won 1st place last night in the Jonesboro Christmas Parade. The really exciting part, though, we didn't get kicked out. We had two air guns shooting stuffed animals & t-shirts into the crowd. People were going crazy. We even shot two (that I know of) on top of a couple buildings downtown. We accidentally added a tad too much pressure in the gun...I'm not sure who to blame. Also, we hit one guy right on top of the head and he wasn't too happy about that. I know who to blame for that, but I won't mention his name on here. Seriously, it was a lot of fun doing ministry last night. I hope the people that caught the shirts or stuffed animals with our webpage on them will check us out. We are also going to enter the Brookland Parade, scheduled for Sunday, but there is a 70% chance of showers, so it's looking as though they may re-schedule that one. We have won that one 2 years in a row, but it's not really about that, it's about the ministry...gotta go...I need to check on some 3-peat shirts!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Parade

Tonight is the Jonesboro Christmas Parade. It all starts at 7:00 p.m. and wouldn't you know it...it's cold today. We will be getting in line on Cherry Street & our float is #52 I believe...all the information can be found on this page. Just follow the link and click on Christmas Parade. The rules for tonights parade are pretty simple...no throwing candy...no giving away any items of advertisement. So, what are we doing? Yeah, we got a big honkin' gun and we're gonna blow t-shirts, beanies & stuffed animals into the crowd. We'll probably get kicked out of the parade. The float this year is pretty cool and different. The theme for the parade is "Christmas through the Decades." Our approach is a little different. Rather than go back in time we are going forward. 1/2 of the float is 2007 and the other half is 2207. There is a cross in the middle of the float which signifies that Jesus never changes (which is written on the side of the float). So, it looks pretty good and if you want to come out tonight and have a good time...meet us in downtown Jonesboro @6:30. See ya!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trey


I promised you a picture and here it is. Also, I found out his middle name...Trey Thomas Archer. Tommy, Misty & the kids returned home from the hospital today. They are now a family of five. Two boys & 1 girl. I was thinking Trey probably should’ve been named after me, but when you think about it he really is. When it comes to basketball I can shoot the three about as good as anyone. So, it’s sort of like his name represents a part of me. If I can just get him to wear this he'll be good to go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good news!

Ok, so my brother Tommy & wife Misty had their 3rd baby last night. They didn't actually have all 3 of them last night, just the one, but he was their 3rd overall. It was a boy, as predicted by the UltraSound, and his name is Trey "something" Archer. I'm not sure what his middle name is???...it needs to be Michael. Anyway, the whole family was pretty pumped up last night. I took a couple pictures and they looked pretty good on the phone but they looked a little lame when I dropped them on my computer so I'm not posting them. I'll try and post a picture soon. We went straight from the hospital to Micah's Bball practice and finally home. More good news awaited us at home. My boy Helio won Dancing with the Stars...you can read about it here. Yeah, we watch Dancing with the Stars pretty religiously and you know you watch it so be quiet. Have a good day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Still feeling dumb?

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." -- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign .


"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country" --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.


"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." --Al Gore, Vice President

And

"We are ready for an un foreseen event that may or may not occur."

-- Al Gore, VP

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." -- Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feeling Dumb?

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." --Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body" -- Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward .


"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." --Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.


"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." --Bill Clinton, President


(On September 17, 1994, Alabama's Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995.) Question: If you could live forever, would you and why? Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever," -- Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest .

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Start

The 5th Grade Girls Basketball Team at Brookland went undefeated last year. My daughter, Micah, was the starting point guard for the team (following in her Dad's footsteps). This season we are expecting them to do well. Since they were undefeated last year it would make sense to have high expectations for this season. We had our 1st game last night against the Bay Yellowjackets. I'm proud to say we won 19 to 11. It was actually a pretty easy game, all 12 girls on the team received plenty of playing time. When basketball season kicks in it means busyness and go, go, go but it's all good 'cause I love this game. In fact, if it weren't for two small factors, (10 more inches on my height & 30 more inches on my verticle) I would be here. You know it's true!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Interview with a Doctor

Our person to interview this weekend is a local Doctor here in Jonesboro. His name is Michael Haughey. Be sure and show up this Sunday to hear what he has to say...it will be good! I'm not telling you anything else, just be here!

Oh yeah, the $50.00 stories have already been coming in. The videos coming in December should be really cool. Have you given away your money yet? Do you have any ideas? You'd better get busy or I'll take that money back...you think I'm jokin'...Ok I'm probably joking. Later!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Crazy Stuff

Yeah, we did something pretty crazy Sunday. Every adult in the building received an envelope with $50.00 at the end of the service. Well, I say every adult...only those who were willing to sign a commitment card listing the 2 requirements that go along with the $50.00. 1st (I will use this money to help someone other than myself) & 2nd (I will tell my story on video). We have basically put mission money in the hands of our people and said, "go do something good for someone in the name of Jesus, and don't worry about getting on an airplane to travel overseas or anything, just help someone in your circle of life." The 1st Sunday in December we will kick-off a series called "Touched" and we will show videos each Sunday of our people telling what they did with the money. I think it will be pretty cool to hear all the stories of who they "touched." I know what you're thinking..."what if they just use the money for themselves?" If they can honestly say they need it that bad, I say go for it...but be sure you have the integrity to share that on video. There will probably be a few who will not tell their story on video and for all we know they went to Chili's and rented a movie with the money, but I guess that's the risk you take when you do something different. I'm pumped already to hear all the cool stories!

Our interview series is going to run for 3 more weeks...and I'll share with you tomorrow who will be coming this Sunday. Have a good evening!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Halloween Groaner

A man was walking home alone late one foggy night, when behind him he hears:
BUMP....
BUMP...
BUMP...

Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.
BUMP...
BUMP...
BUMP...

Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him

FASTER...
FASTER...
BUMP...
BUMP...
BUMP...

He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him.
However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping

clappity-BUMP...
clappity-BUMP...
clappity-BUMP...

on his heels, the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, the man locks himself in.
His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.
With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door.
Bumping and clapping toward him.
The man screams and reaches for something, anything,
but all he can find is a bottle of Robitussin!
Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket and,


The coffin stops


Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Safety

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Believe it or not I've been here...but if somebody would foot the bill I would gladly go back. Plus, I could hopefully be an extra on my favorite show...Lost!

My daughter Madison would flip out over going here but that's not gonna happen.

I'd give my left arm to spend some time in this place...ok maybe from the elbow down.

There are a lot of great places in the world we could go but one place we all want to be is safe. We want safety for us, our spouse, our children, family, etc. Think on this...as Christians we have concluded that God promises safety. Those who are outside God's will, will experience danger. People say, "Get out of God's will and you'll be in big trouble." God's will appears to be a "safe" place for the believer. However, I think scripture teaches something different. I don't believe the center of God's will is a very safe place to be, but possibly the most dangerous place. When I'm out of God's will I'm usually playing it safe. When I'm doing God's will in my life I am constantly placed in uncomfortable situations...places I would never go by my own choice. So, if you want safety...keep doing whatever you want to do and ignore God, but if you want to live a life of danger...get in God's will.

Oh yeah, if you don't agree with those thoughts...go here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Retreat

Be sure and invite someone to come this Sunday and hear what Corey Leonard has to say...should be a good service. I'm about to walk out the door and go here with James & Philip. Tommy & Chris are joining up later this afternoon for our Pastor's Retreat. We will eat, dream and hopefully come back with some crazy ideas for our Church. Later!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Interview With a Quarterback

So, here's the next person to be interviewed at Crossroads. Corey Leonard, Quarterback for the ASU Indians. We're gonna be talkin' football this Sunday at Church and if you're not into talkin' football...well, get into it this Sunday! Do you have any friends or co-workers that need Jesus but could care less about coming to Church? Maybe they're ASU Football Fans...if so, this would be a great weekend to invite them. How will we tie Football & Christ together???...you'll just have to show up and find out. See ya Soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Interview with a Soldier




Can you learn from the experiences of others?

I hope so, because that's exactly what we're trying to do in this series...Interview with a _________. Sunday it was an interview with a soldier. I interviewed Sergeant Quentin Bales of the 875th along with his wife Ginger. As many of you know, the 875th was deployed to Iraq for 12 months and they just returned home a few weeks ago. Tag on the 2months training in Wisconsin and that's 14 straight months away from their families. That's a huge sacrifice! Quentin & Ginger shared with us their initial reaction when they found out about the deployment, his experiences in Iraq (he went to Ur...land of Abram...pretty cool!) & how they survived during the 14 month separation. It was great to hear from someone "in the trenches." It's hard to know what really goes on with all the media coverage. One thing is for sure. The sacrifice was huge but it was given for something larger than the Bales...freedom. The same thing is true in our lives spiritually. There is a greater cause...building God's Kingdom. Quentin was willing to sacrifice his family for a year...are we willing to sacrifice that thing in our lives for the bigger vision? That's the tough part.

So, who will we learn from this Sunday? I already know, but you'll have to check back tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Examine your ways

A guy rushed into a service station one day and asked the manager if he had a pay phone. The manager nodded, "Sure, over there." The guy inserted a couple of coins, dialed and waited for an answer. Finally someone came on the line. "Uh, sir," he said in a deep voice, "could you use an honest hard-working young man?" The station manager couldn't help overhearing the question. After a moment or two the guy said, "Oh, you already have an honest, hard-working young man? Well, okay. Thanks all the same." A broad smile stretched across his face. He hung up the phone and started back to his car, obviously elated. "Hey, just a minute," the station manager said, "I couldn't help but hear your conversation. Why are you so happy? I thought the man said he already had someone and didn't need you?" The guy smiled. "Well, you see, I am that honest, hard-working young man. I was just checking up on myself!"

Because of THIS verse we should seriously check our spiritual pulse on a regular basis. Are your ways pleasing to God or do you please man? How is your attitude? Are you too busy to love, help, and care for others? Are you spending time with God on a regular basis? What needs to be examined in your life today?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Risk

We are planning a series in January called Risk. Here's a thought on this series as ideas have been running thru my head lately. It seems as Christians we put a ton of emphasis on removing evil from our lives. We are always trying to remove sin and we don't like to be around people who sin. Somehow, we consider ourselves more holy by doing this. Maybe we should define holiness not by what we get rid of but what we do. It seems that the greatest tragedy in life is not the sins that we commit but the life we fail to live. Think about this...if we go only where we know and do what we're certain will succeed, what do we need God for?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sweet Memories!

Crossroads' Singles Table Tennis Tournament...that's how I roll!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Success Follows Failure

How do you view failure?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Go!


You know how it goes...you're in a hurry but the light is red. After the light changes to green you're still not moving. Why not? Because the person in front of you is looking in the mirror...checking their hair or popping a pimple. You lay down on the horn and the person in the vehicle jumps...realizing they are in a vehicle on a highway with other people around. Once they become aware of the situation they give you (the driver paying attention) a dirty look and stare you down as you pass them. They forgot about the world around them because they were focused on themselves. As we've been looking at the 12 disciples over the past few weeks there's one thing I've noticed about all of them (excluding Judas) after their encounter with Jesus. They got busy doing God's work. I think as Christians we move slow because we are so consumed with ourselves. God has given us the green light to do ministry and reach our area for Him. However, God may be thinking the same thing we think when we're behind someone and the light is green..."go dude, it doesn't get any greener than this." Maybe...just maybe that's what God is saying to us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Latest

It looks like the building is not gonna happen. I talked to Jon at Fletcher Dodge yesterday and he said his bosses are not wanting to do anything right now with the building. They have other construction projects going on and that's taking priority over the building in Jonesboro. Also, they've added more vehicles to their lot so the parking issue is a problem. They are not sure if they could allot enough room for us to park. Anyway, he said he would call me back today and give me the final word...which according to his gut feeling is a "sorry, maybe later." I'm not getting a phone call...he's never called me before so I don't know why he would now. It would take a move of God for me to receive a call from him. Also, if he did call, it would be another miracle for him to say, "they said go for it." So, there you go. Apparently, God wants us where we are for now or he has something better for us. Right now, you're probably feeling a little sad and disappointed (like I am) but hang in there...what seems to be a loss is actually God setting us up for something bigger and better...I can't see it right now, but I've been around God long enough to know that He operates a little differently than we do. My biggest dreams always come up short from His plan. Have a great time at group tonight!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Book


I usually don't promote a book until after I read it, but this time I'm doing just the opposite. This is a book I plan on reading and I thought I would pass it along to you. For those who want to make their marriage last, read this book. It's written by a well respected Pastor and I think it will be worth your time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Random stuff

Still no news on the building. The same old story every time..."I should hear from them tomorrow"...I'll probably get word in a couple days." This is taking longer than I wanted.
I know a lot of you guys have been praying for Melissa Meeker. In case you don't know, there is a website to keep you updated. Go here and type in melissameeker. It's a good way to stay informed and you can even drop her a note.
Unless you've lived in a cave for the past couple weeks you don't know about the game tonight. ASU vs. Memphis. Even if you're not a big football fan it will be fun. That's where I'll be tonight.
I've been studying up on Matthew & Thomas this week. We will look at them this Sunday and see how they were changed after their 3 year time with Jesus. I've really enjoyed this series on the twelve and I know a lot of you have. Several people have made good comments. I think it's because they are so normal. It's amazing how God rocked the world with 12 ordinary men.
We finally decided on a name for our cell group last night. Drum roll please...Becoming less. Except we are doing it like this...Becoming <. Pretty sweet huh? I'd like to say I came up with the name, but I didn't. Cristi Hillis invented the name and here is the verse to go with it. That's right...we have a verse for our name. I know you're impressed. Have a nice evening!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Latest

I finally got in touch with the guy from Fletcher and he said his people are going to get back with him on Monday. He said they are currently in the middle of some Construction work so that's the reason for the slow response. That's all I know for now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thoughts

So, still no word on the building. I called Jon at Fletcher today and left a message. It has officially been two weeks now since I handed the proposal letter. Something better happen this week or I'll...well...I'm not sure what I'll do, but you can bet I'll do it good!

This coming weekend we continue our series on, "The Twelve." We've looked at two sets of brothers who were fisherman. This Sunday the two guys we focus on appear to have been good friends before Jesus called them. And yes, they also appear to be fisherman. Philip & Bartholomew...we'll check these fellows out in detail this weekend.

The Table Tennis Tournament is coming this weekend and I have a new weapon. It's go time!

We had a great new members class Sunday & possibly two more to baptize.

5 more months and Lost is back! Sweet!

The ticket:
If you were at church Sunday you know about the ticket. I was leaving my brothers Saturday night on my way home and I was pulled over by a cop for going 60 in a 45. The funny thing, I pulled over in a church parking lot. I had the wife and kids with me and Madison was afraid we were going to jail. Marinda thought it was funny since I had earlier been bragging about only having one ticket and that was at age 18...so it's been awhile. Well, the streak is broken. However, the cop did do me a favor. He wrote the ticket as Hazardous Driving which cut the price in half, won't hurt the insurance & won't be on my record...so I basically told Marinda it's like I never really got a ticket...she's not buying it. It's a weird feeling when you get pulled over because you automatically become the focal point of all passersby that you have just screwed up. It's a good thing God doesn't operate that way. If he pulled us over, turned on the blue lights & shined a big honkin' flashlight in our eyes every time we made a mistake...well, the life of a Christian would be a little unbearable. Thankfully, God has forgiven us of our sins by sending His Son to die on a cross and when you think about...we don't have to be looked at and laughed at every time we mess up because His word tells us here that He already went through that for us. See ya!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sad News

I'm doing something on this blog I've never done before...copy & paste from another blog. This story needs to spread:

Sad News

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed last week.
Larry LaPrise, the man that wrote "The Hokie Pokie" died peacefully at the age of 93.
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in........And then the trouble started.
C'mon. You know it's funny.

Still no word on the building.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No word yet!

I called the guy today about the building and his bosses have been out of town. He hopes to hear something tomorrow or Saturday. I'll post on here as soon as I get the word.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Funeral

Hey gang, I'm in Corning with Marinda's family. Her great Aunt Hilda passed away early Sunday morning so we have the funeral tomorrow morning at 10:00 and I'll be in charge of the service. I met with the funeral director today and he wanted to know if I wanted Pastor or Reverend in front of my name. I said go with Pastor...some people at my church call me Reverend to make fun of me and it makes me seem older. When I get 50 I'll go with Reverend. He said guys have actually been pretty upset with him in the past because they labeled them with the wrong title. That's pretty crazy stuff. I'm glad we're not into titles. Pray that we hear something from Fletcher this week. As soon as I get the word I'll post it on here so you guys can get the latest info. It's midnight...I'm going to bed. Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Boldness

In studying the life of Peter this week, I've realized something about this man. He was loud and bold. If he thought it, he said it, before the thought came in his mind. Peter was a very impulsive guy. However, one disappointing time in his life is when he denied Christ not once, not twice but three times. Plus, he told Jesus to his face that he would never do that. That was one of Peter's weakest moments. Standing up for what you believe is sometimes difficult...usually because of a lack of courage on our part. I'm not telling you who to vote for...that's not the goal here...but you gotta love the response of Mike Huckabee to the question of Evolution. This makes you proud, not as a political person, but as a believer. Check out the video here to see his response.
Oh yeah, if you're not going to the ASU vs. Memphis game tomorrow night...you're very uncool!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Party & The Twelve

Last night we had our Cell Group Kick-off Party at the church. We had a good group and there seemed to be a 'buzz' in the air over the 07'/08' cell group season. I have a feeling this is going to be a good year for our groups. I know I'm excited about it.
Sunday, we jump into our new series called, "The Twelve." Of course, it's a series about the lives of the 12 disciples that followed Jesus. It took hours upon hours of creative frenzy to come up with the name for the series, so don't make fun of it. I'm ready for this series to begin. We are not going to take 12 weeks and talk about each individual disciple...probably around 6 weeks. We'll see how it goes. What's amazing about these guys is they were just ordinary dudes who happened to be doing life while Jesus was on the scene. They were ordinary, but the calling on their lives was very unordinary. These guys stuck with Jesus thru thick and thin. At one point in Jesus' ministry He shared teaching so difficult that this happened. However, the disciples stuck with Him. Most of the disciples were fisherman, one was a zealot, one was a tax collector, but the question is...who were they really? That's what were going to look at for the next several weeks because the truth is...they are just like us. Common men with an uncommon calling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Driving lessons



This picture is our youngest daughter Madison sitting in my lap and driving. By looking at my Mickie Souvenir Key chain you would think we're going about 75 miles per hour down the interstate and if you know Madison very well that would be highly probable. Glad to say we were not going that fast, as you can tell by the speedometer. Plus, we were on County Road 703, not the interstate. 703 is the road we live on and it's gravel. We live almost one mile down 703 so the big thing with the girls is sitting in Dad's lap and driving. It all started when they saw one of their friends from school doing the same thing. When they sit in my lap and drive, all they have to do is steer...maybe blow the horn occasionally. I've actually let them work the gas and brakes some but Maddie's still afraid of that...which is cool with me. When Maddie and Micah sit in my lap and drive they are not in full control of the vehicle. I'm still there ready to grab the wheel, hit the brakes...whatever needs to be done. And for now it's a good thing since they are not capable of driving on their own...and not legal. To me, this is a picture of baby Christians. We get saved, prop up in the pastor's lap and just do what we want to do...play with the radio...work the wipers or honk the horn. For some reason we are afraid to grab the wheel of life and hit the gas. Don't get me wrong, it's OK to sit in someones lap for a season, but for most, that season is way behind us. It's time for us to stop depending on someone to grow us and feed us and have the courage to trust God and take the wheel of our life and follow Him. Someday, my girls will be legal and ready to take the wheel...I may not...but they will...and when they do lookout. I hope we have good insurance. Even if they have a fender bender or two, that's part of life. We all take wrong turns every now and then but the courageous thing to do is get back behind the wheel and try again. Of course, I'm talking spiritually here and not about the girls...if they have a wreck it's back to Daddy's lap...even if they are 25 yrs. old. See you guys on the road!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labor Day

Church leaders all over the world are breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. Labor Day is usually the last weekend for people to get away and now we can all get back to a normal routine...which is good for churches. Churches everywhere see a decline in attendance and giving during the summer months (unless God is blowing up the joint). Our vacations are over with and from now until Mother's Day...we kick it in high gear for ministry. I hope everyone had fun on Labor Weekend. The Archer's kept it low key. We spent every dime we had and then some at Disney and the Beach this summer so for Labor Day...we grabbed some food and hit the park. It was about 112 degrees with 200% humidity...classic Arkansas weather. After the park, I took the family to the local putt putt facility for some quick lessons on the green. I beat the wife by about 4 strokes and the girls by about 34 strokes. It was pretty impressive...I'm thinking about laminating the scorecard. That night we went to the Hillis' House for some dinner and sequence with a couple of their friends from W. Memphis. The guys spanked the girls...it was a good Labor Day. Alright, my head's swelling I better move on to other stuff. Actually, this stuff is a lot better than what you just read. I met with the Leadership Team Sunday after church and we made a decision on the building we've been looking at now for a few weeks. We decided to go forward. The financial numbers look really good...you guys have been faithful in giving and God has really blessed us to where we can make a move. I'm actually going to deliver the guy at Fletcher a proposal letter in just a few minutes and then we wait on him. This building is right off the bypass, it's roomy and it's going to rock. I'm ready...pray that God gives us the words as we meet with them and discuss all the details. We'll go from a room that seats 100 to one that seats 300 to 350 and the rest of the facility is very cool. I'm pumped!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Time with God

Do you ever feel like you're not getting anything out of your quiet time? Trust me, it happens to everyone. The problem is we judge the quality of our time with God by our emotions. The truth is...emotions may lie; feelings come and go. If you only have a quiet time when you 'feel' like it, the enemy will make sure you never feel like it. Some days your Bible will come alive and other times it may seem boring or hard to grasp. Having dry spells and reading your Bible without goose bumps doesn't mean God isn't with you. God desires obedience so whether you feel like it or not, be obedient. With or without goose bumps...He'll be proud of you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Balloons

When I was a child there was something I remember doing at church on two or three different occasions...releasing helium filled balloons. We would attach a card to our balloon with all of our information on it and see who's balloon made it the farthest. I remember some kids getting their info. in the mail and their balloon had traveled many states. I never was lucky enough to get my stuff returned. It either never made it out of the county or it ended up in the middle of the woods somewhere. However, it was always cool to see the balloons take off. Some would go faster than others, some higher & some landed in the tree in the back lawn. When you think about it this is symbolic of our lives as Christians. Some people receive Christ, grow & do great things for Jesus. Others grow slower and don't seem to accomplish as much for the Kingdom. And still others end up in the tree out back...they do absolutely nothing. Isaiah 40:31 says we can soar on wings like eagles. Are you flying high for Christ or stuck in a tree? God's plan is for you to soar high. So, if you're not, maybe you need to let go of a few things that are holding you back and weighing you down. Who knows what God could accomplish through you?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hearing from God

A man was irritated by his wife’s refusal to admit her hearing problem. Speaking with his doctor one day he asked, “How can I get my wife to admit that she needs a hearing aid?”“I’ll tell you what you need to do,” his doctor replied. When you get home peek your head through the door and ask, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” “If she doesn’t answer, go into the living room and say, “Honey, what’s for dinner,”Then walk into the kitchen and ask, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” “If she still doesn’t answer walk right up behind her and say, “Honey, what’s for dinner? Then you will be able to convince her that she needs a hearing aid.“Great! I think that will work.”So he repeats the question as he goes through the house. No answer any of the times. Then he walked right up behind his wife and spoke directly into her ear. “Honey, what’s for dinner?”She turned around in a huff and resolutely replied, “For the fourth time, I said WE WERE HAVING SPAGHETTI!!!”
One of the main problems Christians have in their realtionship with Christ is hearing from Him. Many times we say, "I just can't hear God speaking to me." It could be that we are the ones not listening. I think most of us spend too much time telling God what we want, rather than listening to what He tells us. My advice is, if you want to hear from God, turn down all the other noise in your life.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Boundaries


This is a picture of our two horses. My dad had four and he sent two of them to our place so the girls could be around them. Their names are Buttercup & Bandit. I put up a hot-wire fence to keep them in the yard. They are very afraid of the hot-wire...it hurts. However, something changed a few days ago. I was on my way to church and I noticed Buttercup was in the field next to our house...out of his pen. I put him back inside the fence and later that afternoon he escaped again. I didn't know what was happening. I checked the fence and everything seemed intact. I didn't touch it...I just checked to make sure it was all together and the light was blinking on the control box. It all looked good but it didn't work...he got out again. Now, I had built a smaller area with regular cattle fence so I put him in that area and left Bandit in the hot-wired area. You guessed it...it was Bandit's turn now. I noticed Bandit was sticking his head through the fence trying to eat grass and his neck was touching the wire...no shock!!! I got my fence checker thingy and it showed nothing. My shocking unit was malfunctioned. So, I locked Bandit in the pen with Buttercup and they are both unhappy about it. Can you tell by their faces? Ok, maybe not, but they are prisoners for the moment. Buttercup & Bandit desire the freedom to run wherever they want without any restrictions, but I can't let that happen. I realize they might runaway...get stolen by someone, etc. The horses only want to get out of the fence because they believe the freedom will be better for them. It's the same with us. God sets boundaries for us and He has a direction for our lives, but we are always trying to get out of the "pen" and do our own thing. Why is that? I think we just don't trust our Master. We might say we trust Him, but we're always trying to get away from His plan. I love my horses but I got very frustrated with them a few days ago. I think God gets frustrated with us a lot of times because we are always so disobedient, but I'm thankful His love never runs empty. If you've been trying to escape God's plan for your life lately, maybe it's time to stop hopping fences and enjoy the area he has designated for you.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Race marked out for us

We continue our series in Hebrews 12 this Sunday and we'll be looking at the end of verse 1...the race marked out for us. Now, even though we're in Hebrews we'll actually take a detour to the book of Proverbs. There is a story in Proverbs (not telling you where until this weekend), I don't know if it really happened or if it's just an illustration, but it fits perfectly with the topic for Sunday. Are you running the race marked out for you or are you just running and you're not sure what race you're in...or didn't even know you were in a race? Well, you're in one, but it may not be the right one. Hopefully, you'll find out this weekend. Charlton will be leading worship again this weekend and they've got a good line-up, so come ready. Also, we'll be having family day at Galactic Hurricane from 4:00 to 6:00 and then we adjourn to Pizza Inn (right across the street) for supper. Plus, we will officially weigh in Sunday morning for the Tug of War, which will take place one week from this Sunday. Pros & Joes will weigh in. Joes can't be over 10 lbs. of our total weight. Should be a great day! Listed below is a schedule for those confused:

10:30 Service (weigh in)
3:30 Pros vs Joes (ladies addition) all contestants meet at Galactic 30 minutes prior to family day for laser tag.
4:00 to 6:00 family day at Galactic Hurricane.
6:00 to ??? Pizza Inn (across street from Galactic)

August 12th @2:00??
Pros vs Joes Volleyball/Tug of War

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bowling

We finished up competition #4 Sunday at the Jonesboro Bowling Center. It was a 4 on 4 matchup. Chris was out of town and Phillip was on Injured Reserve with a bad back. This is the 1st event of the series where we haven't been the favorite to win...so we didn't know what to expect. Jon Weese & Casey Faulkner were the big names for the Joes who teamed with Chip Black and Nick Saunders.

Here are the numbers for those interested:

Pros: 1,183

Steve-163+149=312
Mike- 142+167=309
Tommy-160+122=282
James-111+169=280

Joes: 1,043

Jon-161+155=316
Nick-141+148=289
Chip-125+123=248
Casey-87+103=190

As you can see, Jon came out with the best score, but besides Nick, he didn't get much help. Solid play by the Pros helped us to take victory #4 on Sunday. This weekend will be the ladies in the skills competition. Good times!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pros vs Joes

Basketball was the sport of the week Sunday afternoon in our Pros/Joes match. Myself, Tommy & Chris were the Pros and Zach Methany, DJ Figgins & Scott Allen were representing the Joes. The 1st event was a shooting event. Each team had to kill 9 spots on the floor in the least amount of time by rotating shooters after every shot. The final shot was from halfcourt. This was a best of three match with the Pros taking the first two matches leaving the 3rd match unnecessary. The 2nd event was a 3-point shootout. Each shooter had to make as many as possible in less than 30 seconds. The combined total of each team was declared the winner. The Joes pulled out a shocker in winning this event by one point. The 3rd and deciding event was a game of 3 on3...two 10 minute halves. The Joes came out hot but after we got warmed up the final score read 50 to 39...Pros Victorious. So the Pros took the Basketball event leaving the overall score Pros 3 and Joes 0. This is a 7 event challenge so if the Pros take the next one...it's over. However, we're not going for the win...we are going for the sweep. The remaining events are Bowling, Volleyball, Tug of War & the Women's Skills Competition. The Skills Competition was scheduled for this weekend but, due to scheduling conflicts, we have moved it back a week so Bowling will be this weekend. Good luck Joes!
Tommy will be speaking this weekend on Focus and we have a special guest (Charlton Cupp) leading worship this Sunday. Don't miss this weekend, it will be a blast.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Weekend

A little bit of off the wall stuff here. This is the last night of VBS. It's been fun but I'm glad it's coming to an end. Check out www.pandora.com You can type in any song or band and it will create a listening station for you with music that fits the style of your choice. It's the coolest thing in the world. You can listen to any type of music you're in the mood for.
Ok, so I'm ready for this weekend. We are in the "Is He in You" series and it's week two. James hit a homerun last Sunday to set the stage for this series. This Sunday I'll be sharing one of my favorite stories from the Bible and it's not Esther or Joseph. Perseverance is the key word for the weekend. We have like 3 videos to show this weekend...I love videos and slideshows. This weekends going to be good. Also, Sunday afternoon at 3:00 we are going to beat the crud out of the Joes in the shootout. I worked out today and shot around before I left...I've still got the touch and Tommy & Chris will be bringing their "A" game so look out Joes. The summer has been awesome so far. We haven't been under 100 yet so let's keep it going...actually let's not settle for maintaining but let's move forward. We can grow through the summer...just keep inviting your friends and show up yourself. See ya at VBS...if not see ya Sunday!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Random Thoughts

Nothing central here just some thoughts that are on my mind:

VBS is going good this year...I love the sports theme.
I hit 9 for 9 Tuesday night at the Softball Games. I'm expecting 0 for 9 next time.
Washing my truck is like making the bed. Why do it? You're just going to mess it up tonight. I live down a gravel road.
I got a new laptop...it's sweet!
We are going to slaughter the Joes this Sunday afternoon on the hardwood.
I gave my dog leftover chicken bones last night and he ate them slowly. That's very strange. The heat has zapped his appetite.
We have a funny video to show this Sunday. Don't miss it!
I'm sick of hearing about Paris Hilton.
I really am starting to miss Lost. I love that show...come February come.
I stink at golf but I can knock the fool out of a ball on my Tiger Woods Wii game.
We have a couple people to baptize...you will find out soon.

That's pretty much it for now...back to studying for this weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm back!



I haven't been able to blog in a couple weeks since the family & I went on vacation. I thought I would have internet in Orlando but it didn't work out so...sorry! Anyway, we had a great time getting away. We spent the first part of our vacation in Fort Walton with some close friends of ours, the Hillis family. We all stayed in the same place and we actually still talk to each other. It was a blast just hanging out on the beach and playing with the kids. We went from there to Orlando where we met up with some other close friends of ours from Ft. Lauderdale. We went to Disney 4 days, hit the Outlet Malls & chilled in the pool. Much fun was had in Orlando last week...we didn't want to leave but on the drive home I was ready to hit County Road 703. We actually made a pit stop in Canton Georgia to visit a church I had heard about. It's called "Ridgestone" and they meet in a Theater...it was pretty cool. There's really too much to share so I'll spare you all the details for now but I have attached some pictures from Ft. Walton & Orlando.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Pros vs Joes

We had a great time at the Park yesterday. The Building where we had the service and meal was very nice. And yes, it did rain. If we plan an outdoor event, it will rain. You can bank on it, but we still had a lot of fun. Also, we officially announced the upcoming events for the Pros vs Joes (Pastors vs Laypeople), which will kick off July 15th. Here are the events and the Pros:

July 15th
Darts-James Hewitt & Steve Walton
Archery-Steve Walton & Phillip Weese

July 22nd
Basketball Shootout-Michael Archer, Tommy Archer & Chris Moix

July 29th
Skills Competition-Ladies only! All the wives of the Leadership Team

August 5th
Bowling-Leadership Team

August 12th
Volleyball/Tug of War-Leadership Team

Sign-up cards are available at the church, so, if you have the skills...get involved!

Be ready for this weekend as Chris closes out the series "Taming the Tongue."

Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Get a life!

This is one of the points from Sundays message on gossip. I Timothy 5:13 says, "besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to." This scripture is from Paul to Timothy and if you read the verses prior to vs. 13 there appears to be some sort of list of good widows. Paul is telling Timothy there are certain women who shouldn't be put on the "good list." Why? Because they are gossips and busybodies (worrying about other peoples stuff). The reason they are gossips, according to Paul, is their idleness. They are lazy and not doing anything. When you do nothing your chances of becoming a person of gossip increase dramatically. Do you know people that gossip? I bet most of those people don't have a ministry. The women that Paul is talking about are going from house to house talking about everyone else...the doers. We all deal with gossip, but when we refuse to be involved in ministry...look out! Gossip will be very attractive. So, if you want to avoid becoming a person of gossip, do something, get involved...in other words...Get a Life!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Beloved

Today, I'm going to write the mushiest blog I've ever written in my blogging career so if you don't like mush...hit the back button. Marinda, my wife, had a birthday on Monday and I'm reminded of our years together. We 1st met when she was the tender age of 16. I was sitting in a restaurant where she was a waitress and one glimpse was all it took. I looked at my friend (who would get me dates) and said, "get me a date with her." Her response, "she's too young." I said "No, that's the girl I want a date with." I can honestly say after 18 yrs. of being with this woman I don't feel the same anymore. The love I have now is stronger than ever...had you worried for a minute huh? I thank God that He has given me the opportunity to do life with great people, but when I think about my wife, I realize He gave me someone who is extra special. I'm excited about spending the rest of my life on this planet with her. Ok, now you can stop crying because the mush has come to an end. Have a great day!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mark 11:35

The title of this entry is a verse...a verse I have taped to my computer and the dashboard of my vehicle. In our cell group we have been assigned a "spiritual partner" for the next 30 days. With our partners, we each made a commitment for the next month and mine was sticking verses in different places so I can meditate on them. Sound a little wierd? Maybe, but as I''ve focused on Mark 11:35 something is there I can't get past. Here is the verse: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." "Jesus got up" is the amazing part of this verse. How early was it? It was still dark so that's enough information for me. You've been in this situation many times...you try to get up for your "quiet time" but the warm cozy covers are too hard to resist. You want to call someone and apologize for something you've done or said about them but the comfort of your current position won't allow you to do it. You want to tithe but your checkbook is comfortably surviving so you back out at the last minute. Jesus got up. That's the 1st step, the hardest step. God's not about making us comfortable, He's about making us more like Jesus and if you're like me that's not a comfortable position. The more I focus on this verse, the more I want this to be said of my life. Michael got up. However, I realize that most of the time it says, "Michael stayed where he was at." How bout' you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Springboard

Have you read thru Deuteronomy lately? I was reading this morning and something hit me. This is one long sermon. If you're a preacher and someone accuses you of going long...point them to Deuteronomy because it's Moses' final words to his people. In it, he reviews all the things that have happened to them during their journey to the Promised Land. Why did he review it? They were the ones who made the journey. I think he reviewed it so he could use their past as a springboard into the future. Remember, Moses' time was over...he wasn't going into the Land of Canaan because of an earlier sin. He was passing the leadership torch to Joshua and in his final words he used some good stories of the past to launch them into the future God had called them to. I must admit, there is not much I enjoy more than sitting around a campfire with good friends and sharing old stories from the past. And think about it...all the stories get better each time you tell them. True? I think in church we are good at looking at the past but sometimes I'm afraid we're too good. We dwell on it and love it so much that we want to relive the old days rather than make new ones. Looking at the past is great but we must use it to thrust us into a better tomorrow. In church we get stuck in ministry ruts because "we've always done it that way." We have to ask the question, "what can I do differently today that will make newer and better memories tomorrow?" Once you've answered that question it's time to get busy with today. Memories are great, Moses relived them, but he used them as we should...a springboard to something better!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Do something

James 4:17 says, Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. That's an easy verse to just read over, but what if someone actually said that to you today? "Hey dude, you should've helped that older gentleman at Wal-Mart yesterday...you sinner." "Hey man, you had the opportunity to spend time with your son yesterday and you passed it up...you sinner." If somebody spit out comments like that to us today we would refer to them as judgmental, pharisitical trash. The amazing thing is these words come straight from the brother of Jesus. James was one of the brothers that wanted nothing to do with Jesus and thought He was crazy. However, James experienced major life change and realized the importance of not just eliminating sin, but doing good. We are so good as Christians at eliminating stuff. We have put so much emphasis on avoiding evil that we have become blind to the endless opportunities of doing good. We define holiness from what we seperate ourselves from rather than what we can give ourselves to. For most of us, it's not the sins we commit that is the great tragedy, but the opportunities we miss. James says we should do something. When you see an opportunity to do something good, do it. How's your holiness?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Weekend Highlights

This weekend we had some great stuff happen and sometimes we don't all get to be a part of everything so here are a few highlights:

The Pump it Up Party Saturday afternoon rocked! We had 60 in attendance...which was a great turnout...and all the kids (and adults) had a blast! Watching Pete & Steve in the boxing cage was good entertainment. I thought Farrah was going to knock James' head off with that joust club. The greatest moment of the evening, however, was when the 5 leadership team guys defeated the 5 laymen in the obstacle course race. The headfirst slide by Steve to win was very cool! That was a little teaser of what's going to happen this July when we kick off the series, "Is He in You?" Each week the Pastor's will compete against the laypeople of the church in a "Pro's versus Joe's Battle." Fun stuff!

Sunday morning we did a little service called "In the Round." Phillip built a stage in the middle of the room and all the chairs circled the stage for a more intimate approach. Scott, Michelle, Zach & Jami all did a great job telling their stories. We had a 130 in attendance, which is awesome for summer.

Someone that's been bathed in prayer during G.R.O.W. each month was in attendance Sunday.

Pete & Kelly Cancilla & Dustin Wheat all joined the Crossroads Team Sunday after attending the Membership Class. Welcome aboard guys!

That's a few things that happened this weekend you might have missed out on. Have an awesome day!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Risk

A man’s wife had a cat that irritated him constantly. He hated that cat. He hated having cat hairs all over his coat. He hated stumbling over that cat in the dark. He hated being kept awake by the cat’s squealing in the night.When his wife went to visit her mother, he drowned the cat. When his wife came back and asked about the cat, he said, “I guess the cat ran away.”His wife was distraught and despondent over the loss of the cat. She pleaded with him to find some way to have the cat returned, so he put out a $1,000 reward.A friend of his told him, “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever hear – offering $1,000 reward for a cat you don’t even like.”The man replied, “When you know what I know, you can afford to take the risk.”
It's amazing what we will risk when we know the whole story. Think about your life as a follower of Christ for a second. How much time do you give God each day? How much of your talent are you using for His Church? Do you always tithe or just when there's enough money left over? Honestly, we all fall short in different areas of our lives. We won't give God our talent because were unsure if it will really matter, our time is held back because we have other "more important" things to accomplish and we refuse to tithe because we simply can't afford it. The truth is, we simply don't trust God will follow thru with His promises. We do something for God and we want our reward the next day. When He doesn't deliver we get upset. I don't know what's going to happen over the next 20 yrs. of my life but I know who's in charge. I've read the end of the book, Jesus wins! So, all I have to do is follow His will for my life. When I do that it will appear that I am taking huge risks when in actuality you would do the same because..."when you know what I know, you can afford to take the risk."

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Accent

I recently went to Rockford, Illinois to marry a couple that is related to my wife. Being from the south, I talk a little differently than people from the north. If you've been you know exactly what I'm talking about. Before the wedding I was just listening to people talk and thinking to myself...they all sound just alike. I've been up north several times but I was just soaking it all in at this moment...for some reason it was funnier this trip. Before we left I went into a local Quik Shop to grab a bag of ice...I promise this is all I said, "I need a bag of ice." The lady behind the counter said, "You're not from here are you?" I said, "No, I'm a hick from Arkansas who dreams of having indoor plumbing in the near future!" Actually I just said, "no, I'm not" but that's what was going through my head. Anyway, there is a scripture in Matthews gospel that has always made me think about something. Here's the scripture: Matthew 26:73b says, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away." This is the story of Peter's denial of Christ. Peter denies knowing Christ three different times but this comment by someone in the crowd has always made me think. Peter was recognized by the way he talked. Peter had a Galilean accent which made him standout in Jerusalem. In fact, all of the disciples had this Galilean accent, with the exception of Judas. So, just in the way the disciples talked moved people to relate him to Jesus. Now chew on this for a second. Does the way you talk cause people to relate you to Jesus? I could've told the lady in the Quik Mart that I lived just two blocks down the road but she would've known I was either lying or had just recently moved to town. My accent gave me away. Peter was trying to prove he was not a follower of Christ but his accent showed differently. I think we sometimes try to insist that we are followers of Christ but our accent shows differently. Ouch! Yeah, the truth hurts. We are going to be talking about the tongue for 3 weeks starting after Father's Day. How's your accent?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Going the distance

We talked about Vision Sunday and looked at a bad example...Esau. What about a good example? How bout' Abraham? Abraham was a man who not only had vision but he also went the distance. Think about this:
Abraham's father, Terah, left Canaan with Abraham but for some unknown reason he stopped in Haran and never continued his journey. Did he have a similar call to go with Abraham to the Promised Land? We may never know, but we do know that Abraham continued on.
When enemies kidnapped Lot, Abraham rescued him.
When God commanded Abraham to circumcise the males, he did it "that very same day."
And when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, he went the distance until God intervened and provided a ram.
Quitting is easy, anyone can do it. It's going the distance that seperates you from the pack. The vision God has for us at Crossroads is not a wind sprint. It's a marathon...a journey. It takes discipline, courage & the ability to finish strong. When God calls you to do something He won't tell you later to quit before it's finished. So, if you're considering "throwing in the towel" ask yourself who your listening to, because I can assure you...it's not God.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Livin' Large

We kick off a new 3-week series this Sunday called, "Livin' Large." We will talk about Big Prayers, Big Sacrifice & Big Vision. This weekend is prayer. I'm excited about this series...I think it contains a lot of stuff we need to hear from God on. We've had some good weekends lately so let's keep the momentum going...bring a friend Sunday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sunday

Mother's Day was a great day at Crossroads. We had 139 people in attendance and most of them left with teary eyes. Hannah, mother of Samuel, was the focus of the message Sunday. What a great Mother! I was thinking the other day...women have it tough...you have the Proverbs 31 woman...Hannah...Moses's mother (Jochebed)...and countless other examples of women who raised the bar of Motherhood. But I'll have to say, we have a lot of great mother's in our church. Two of those mother's were honored in a special way on Sunday. We gave two of our members, who are single moms, a special gift. We gave them each a money tree with a gas card, Chili's card & Wal-mart card totalling $300.00. It was pretty sweet...they didn't have a clue...it rocked! Hope you guys called your mom...sent her a card...something. If you didn't you can always call today...no you can't it's too late! You're in trouble. Have a nice day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Instructions

On a Sears hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping.
On a bag of Fritos: ..You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap."
On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost."
On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom): "Do not turn upside down."
On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating."
On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body."
On Boot's Children Cough Medicine: "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication."
On Nytol Sleep Aid: "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
On most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only."
On Sunsbury's peanuts: "Warning: contains nuts."
On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."
On a child's superman costume: "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."

I remember one time I had to put a bouncing horse together for the girls. I didn't read the instructions. I saw instructions as a waste of time. However, after the horse was finished I still had a leftover part. I threw it to the side thinking it was unimportant or just an extra. After closer investigation of the horse I noticed it was leaning a little. The leftover part was needed but I would have to take it all apart and start from the beginning...which I wasn't willing to do. So, the girls rode a crooked horse for the next couple years. Reading the instructions takes time, but one thing is for sure...you'll get it done right by taking that time. It works the same way for us as believers. Reading our instructions (Bible) takes time, but it will keep our lives on the right track. So, if you feel like you're riding a crooked horse in your walk with Christ, check your manual...you probably need to make some adjustments.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tuesday Thoughts

The service Sunday was great! The band sounded awesome and I tag-teamed with James for the message. The challenge of the message was pretty simple...take your next step. Every Sunday we walk into the church and stand at a crossroad. It doesn't matter where you're at in your walk with Christ, you are still standing at a crossroad. You will choose to pursue Christ more in your life or back away. The decision is yours.
We came back Sunday night for the Gathering. We looked at Acts 5 and focused on the leadership of the 1st church. The way those guys lived is unbelievable. Their lives were forever changed after Jesus ascended to heaven and growth for their church became a natural thing. I'm convinced we will never have any problems with church growth, if we will live our lives as they did.
Next Sunday is Mother's Day. Call your mom and bring her to church. You don't want to miss this Sunday, I promise. We are going to do something I've never heard of and it's going to rock. Don't miss it!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Men's Retreat

Today, we head out for the Men's Retreat. This is one of those events I always look forward to...where a man can be a man...this is where we all grunt and beat our chest. Seriously, the retreats are always fun and Chris does a great job with the teaching & activities. This year we will be playing golf on Saturday which is something we don't normally do. I don't think we have too many golfers at our church but that will make it even better. I've got a feeling "fore" will be a popular word tomorrow. We'll try and be in bed by 9:00 tonight. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Humbled

I was very reluctant to write this post but here it goes. Last Saturday, I entered a Singles Table Tennis Tournament here in Jonesboro along with P. Weese. Shooters Pool Hall got the tournament together to raise money for MDA and I thought it would be fun to check out the local Ping Pong talent and donate to a good cause. Honestly, I thought I was a fairly good pinger...nothing on ESPN or anything...but I figured I could hold my own with most people around this area. We have a lot of guys that play table tennis at the church and our tournaments are pretty competitive. So going in...I felt pretty good. However, that all changed upon arrival. There were only 8 guys (counting the two of us) in the tournament. Out of those 6 other guys, I could see at least 4 that were going to be tough to beat. After warming up, some dude comes out with a single-elimination bracket that he had just drawn up. I was up first against a guy from City Water & Light. The games were a race to 11 points and a race to 5 games. I played 5 games. He beat me 5 in a row. One time, he served 3 in a row that never touched my paddle. It hit me in the knuckle every time. I vowed I would keep this a secret, but there were certain people in attendance that I know can't keep a secret...so it might as well come from me. Phillip won his first match but got the same results I got in round 2 from a kid about 16 yrs. old. He had a brother about 13 yrs. old in the tournament and I thank the good Lord I didn't have to play him. The guy I played actually won the tournament and beat the older kid 5 to 1 so that's the only thing that made my inner wounds feel better. I walked away last Saturday a very humbled ping pong player. Any ability I thought I had was removed on that day. There were two guys from City Water & Light in the tournament and they said they play ping pong every single day. I thought...that's pretty stinkin' obvious. Those dudes were good. First, I was mad...I hate getting beat...Second, I was depressed...I hate getting beat...Lastly, I was humbled and realized I'm not really that great at ping pong. Being humbled is tough but it's good for us. Just when I think I'm really giving God something...sacrificing for Him...or using my time for Him...I read about what he does for me. In group last night we talked about 1 John 4...real love. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. If that doesn't humble you, I'm not sure what will.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Leadership

Leadership is huge in the church. I read a story in Exodus 32 today where the Israelites made a golden calf to worship. Moses was on the mountain receiving the commandments that they were in the middle of breaking. Aaron was apparently the guy they turned to for leadership since Moses was with God. The people told Aaron to make them a god since Moses was no where in sight. Aaron did as they asked and the people were worshipping the idol when Moses came down from the mountain. 3,000 men died that day. Because Moses was away, they turned to Aaron for leadership and he made a mistake. He did what most people would do in that situation. He gave the people what they asked for, an idol. The problem was, God wanted to be their idol...their only idol. Aaron messed up because he listened to the people rather than listening to God. If you are a leader in any area of the church, it's easy to just do what the people say. That's the easy way out...even though it never works out. God is looking for people who will please Him...even if it goes against the popular vote. Who will you please? God or man?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ministry

STORY: A friend was in front of me coming out of the church one day and the preacher was standing at the door ready to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and said,Joe, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!”Joe replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.”The Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”He smiled and whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”

It's time for the church to come out of retirement and back into ministry. God's ready to change the world and he wants to use each of us for that task. We are are all gifted in some area and we need to get busy using our gifts to build up the body. One regret I have for my life is that I didn't start serving him earlier. I got involved in ministry in my mid-twenties. I feel like I missed opportunities during my younger years. However, I'm glad I did start. Many people live their whole lives saying, "I'll start tomorrow." Well, forget about tomorrow and just start right now. It's never too late. Get involved today!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In the groove

I went to the Softball field last night with a few guys from church for some batting practice. We are playing in a softball league, which starts in a few weeks. Today, my hands are sore, my back has a little tightness and my legs are fatigued from running down fly balls. Why do I feel this way? I'm getting old is one good reason. The other reason is I haven't played softball in quite some time. It's gonna take a little practice to get back in the softball groove. It's weird how you can be in shape for some sports and get sore in others. Once you get in the groove of your current sport it no longer makes you sore, but when you do something you haven't done in a while, it makes you sore...even though it may require less energy. The different movement causes you to use different muscles which brings on the pain. Many of us our like this in our walk with Christ. We've stopped doing the things necessary for growth and when we try and step back in, it hurts. We try to start praying but it feels weird. We try to tithe but it's painful. We want to be in ministry but we don't want to give up our time. However, when you get in the groove, you're able to give God your time, money & talent without any feelings of discomfort. Then what happens? You're able to take your relationship a step further, which brings a little pain but not nearly as bad as a newcomer. As long as you keep going you can stretch yourself to great lengths for God. The moment you stop and become idle is when you open yourself to the pain. Is it time for you to get back in the groove?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Idiot

Maybe you've read these but they are pretty funny...and true.

Number One Idiot of 2006

I am a medical student currently doing a rotation in toxicology at
the poison control center.
Today, this woman called in very upset because she caught her little
daughter eating ants.
I quickly reassured her that the ants are not harmful and there
would be no need to bring her daughter into the hospital. She calmed
down and at the end of the conversation happened to mention that she
gave her daughter some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants.
I told her that she better bring her daughter into the emergency
room right away.

Number Two Idiot of 2006

Early this year, some Boeing employees on the airfield decided to
steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in
getting it out of the plane and home.
Shortly after they took it for a float on the river, they noticed a
Coast Guard helicopter coming towards them.
It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency
locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated. They are
no longer employed at Boeing.


Number Three Idiot of 2006

A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the
Branch and wrote "this. Put all your muny in this bag."
While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he
began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might
call the police before he reached the teller's window.
So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to the Wells
Fargo Bank. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note
to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his
spelling errors that he wasn't the brightest light in the harbor,
told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was
written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either
have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of
America.
Looking somewhat defeated, the man said, "OK" and left.
He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back
at Bank of America.

Have you ever done anything stupid that makes you feel like an idiot? I have many times. A few weeks ago I dropped the girls off at school and went straight to church....normal routine. I got out of the truck and noticed I had on my house shoes. Marinda got me some nice red house shoes and they are so good I apparently couldn't tell the difference from my regular shoes. Have you ever been driving down the road...listening to your Ipod and reach for the volume button on the car? It doesn't turn up the volume on the Ipod no matter how many times you turn the knob. I've done this before...actually more than once. We do some pretty idiotic things in life sometimes but hopefully they don't mess us up too much. However, as a follower of Christ I mess up all the time. I should pray for someone and I don't, I should encourage someone and I don't, I should do someone a favor and I don't...the list goes on and on. I'm always doing stupid stuff or I don't do the good stuff I need to and therefore I become an idiot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reputation

We all have a reputation. You may not be striving to make a reputation for yourself, but you are. We may have a reputation for being kind, caring, loving or thoughtful. However, we can also have a reputation for being lazy, mean, hateful, etc. We have a good reputation with some people and a bad one with others. Does it matter? Yes, I believe our reputation is a huge factor to our success in this world. Remember, it's not what you know but who you know. That may not be fair, but it's a simple truth that we must live with. If your reputation is bad with most people, you're going to be in trouble when you need a favor. In church we have 3 different classes of people. Wishbones, jawbones & backbones. The wishbones are always hoping and dreaming the church will grow, but without their effort. The jawbones talk a big game, but do very little. The backbones are the ones who do all the work and keep the church strong. Which bone are you and what kind of reputation will you leave?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Breakdown

We had 148 on Easter Sunday. That's really good for us on Easter. Usually everyone runs off to Mommy & Daddy's or Grandmother's church. I guess that's the negative side of having a church where everyone is required to have small children...at least it seems that way. Ha! Seriously, Easter was awesome...the service went great and this series is gonna be a ton of fun. We looked at the different ways the enemy tried to steal Jesus' identity and now we will look at how he tries to steal ours. Also, the meal after church rocked the house! And James said you ladies couldn't cook...he ought to be ashamed. There was plenty of food and it was good stuff. The egg hunt was cool. Phillip handled everthing like a real pro until he gave two bikes away to the wrong age division. It's tough to take a bike from a kid after you've already given it to him. That one bike was tough to give away though. I think three people turned it down because they already had a bike. Hear ye, Hear ye...no bike will be given away in that age division next year. Gift certificates? Maybe not. I hope you guys have your calendars marked since we have some good events coming up over the next two or three months. Trust me you do not want to miss the retreats. Ladies in April and Men in May. Don't miss out! Be there! If you don't come we are not telling you all the stories. When you see us laugh in the lobby for no apparent reason...it's something that happened at the retreat...we will NOT fill you in so be there! Have a good Wednesday.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Easter

Easter is only two days from now. Have you invited your friends and family? I hope you have. We are kicking off a new series this Sunday. We will be having a meal together after the service and the egg hunt after that. Plenty of eggs and cool prizes! Also, don't forget about the community hunt which is being held beside the Brookland Elementary School building off Highway 49 North. This hunt is from 1:00 to 3:00. Wear your Crossroads T-shirt and come ready for fun. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Egg stuffing party

Make sure you're at the church tomorrow night @6:00 as we stuff eggs for Saturday's community hunt and our Sunday hunt. This is great ministry time and "hang out" time. I understand there will be some good prizes for the community hunt and you know we will have some sweet stuff for Sunday, so get the kids fired up and ready. Also, be sure and invite your friends to church this Sunday as we kick off the new series, "Identity Theft." We will be talking about Jesus' identity this Sunday and then we will look at some of our issues for the next three weeks. This series will be a good one!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Answered prayers & The Wolf

We met at the church last night for G.R.O.W. What is Grow? It's a ministry led by Pastor James, where we meet at the church on the last Tuesday night of each month to pray. It lasts from 7:00 to 8:00. James will walk thru the list to see what's been answered and what we need to add and then we pray. That's it. One cool ministry. So, here's the reason I bring it up. On the list last night it said 45 answered prayers! I'm not sure how long GROW has been going on but 45 answered prayers is a big deal. That tells me we are not the only ones showing up. God is there with us! Set your VCR or DVR or whatever you have so you don't miss American Idol and give up 1 hour a month for this ministry. You won't regret it.
I forgot to give out some vital information this past weekend. I told you I would keep you informed and I didn't. God please forgive me. I will be on 95.9 The Wolf Thursday afternoon at 4:00. I get to push the buttons, pick the songs & talk for 30 minutes. Probably 29 minutes of music with a 60 second interview with M. Archer, but hey it will be fun. I've always thought being a DJ would be cool. I'll let you know Sunday how it went.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Weekend & Upcoming

I love that verse in Malachi Chapter 3 from this past Sunday..."and you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked." We like to think that times have changed but really they haven't. We struggle with the same issues today that the Israelites struggled with thousands of years ago and money/possessions is at the top of the list. If you say you don't struggle with the pull of possesions you're a big fat liar! So, why not quit lying and admit that you are in a battle with God over 'your' stuff? At least you can drop one sin by admitting the truth. Money & Possessions are always rooting their ugly faces in between us and God. It's time to put money in it's place. God says you can't serve both. Think about that for a second...He's God...I'm not...he's always right and we are very seldom right and when we are right it's because we're agreeing with Him. So, choose your side. God or money. God is forever and money is temporary so the decision is not something to pray about. Choose God everytime and whatever you do don't look at today's stuff as blessings. Malachi said the distinction will be made but it's on God's watch not ours. We will be rewarded for our faithfulness.
I think the skittles illustration went over pretty good Sunday...we had a $21,000 dollar offering. Ok, that was just a cruel joke...but think about how excited you were for a moment when you read that $21,000. God's big enough do that and so much more if we will just be obedient. Ok...enough money talk. We have some cool stuff coming up so write down the list below and then do something ludicrous. Show up! Wow, that's crazy!

Attention Youth!
I did pick up all the skittles that landed in the floor so no leftover snacks for you.

G.R.O.W. tonight 7:00-8:00
We split up in groups for 1 hour and God shows up...it's great!
Nick asked me to remember the Guntharp family in prayer. They lost their son Judah last Friday so if you can't make it tonight remember this family.

Gathering this Sunday night @6:00
James is speaking and he will not mention that we won the Doubles Tournament. Oh, I just mentioned it...sorry.

Wednesday, April 4th at 6:00 Stuff Eggs.
We have eggs to stuff for the Community Hunt and the Crossroads Hunt.
All cell groups will meet at the church for this event.

April 8th Easter Sunday.
We are having dinner & an egg hunt immediately after the service. Invite your friends and family and let's pack this place out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Submission

Submission is a tough thing to do. Children are told to obey their parents. Wives are told to submit to their husbands. We are told to submit to God. The thing about submission is this. There can't be submission without disagreement. If children agree with the rules of their parents, there is no need for submission. If a wife's desires match the desires of her husband, there is no need for submission. When God commands us to do something we would do anyway, we don't have to submit. However, when God tells us to do something we don't want to do... well, that is when submission is needed. So the question is...how good are you at submitting? Not very good right? Let's pray that God will help all of us to become better in this area of our life.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday

Yesterday was probably one of the heaviest messages I've preached. However, preaching truth is always heavy, especially when it disagrees with most of what you believe. The foundation of the church is so important and if it's not laid right...you're in trouble. I really believe our foundation at Crossroads is based on truth. It may not be the way we would do it, but we're following God and He knows a lot more than us. We were down a little yesterday (number wise) but we still had a great time. 2 were baptized and we have a couple more left. After the service we stuck around for the doubles table tennis tournament upstairs. I was partnered with Big James and we took the final game by defeating team Laubach/Weese. With a mixture of my speed and James' power...we couldn't lose. Better luck next time fellows. We talk about Money this weekend...yee haw!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sleepy

I'm a tired puppy. We got in from the Unleash Conference last night around 2:00 & I got back up at 6:00. The conference was pretty awesome! The Pastor (Perry Noble) at NewSpring will say whatever is on his mind...no holding back. I think they had around 900 people attend the conference. We were pretty ticked off since we didn't get the prize for longest drive. Some guy from Kansas took that award. What did we learn from the conference? Good question...I'm glad I asked. We learned that God is a Big God and He can do amazing things in the life of His people when they are obedient to Him. The lives that have been changed through this church in the past 8 yrs is amazing. The cool thing is we serve that same God. I'm really excited about the direction God is taking us at Crossroads. For the next 3 weeks we are going to be in the "Fact or Fiction" series. We'll have a lot of vision in this series. We are going to talk about some things that we believe to be true...but are they? We are not making stuff up in this series, we're following the Bible, but does the Bible agree with our beliefs? We'll soon find out. See ya!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Anderson

It took almost 10 hours but we made it to Anderson, South Carolina. The conference starts at 8:30 in the morning. We went to the church tonight and pre-registered for the conference...picked up our name tags...stuff like that. It looks like a pretty cool place. It's sort of in the middle of nowhere. The area that the church is located in has a surrounding population about the size of our area. This church runs around 9,000 each weekend and they are 8 yrs old, I believe. That's pretty darn impressive. I'm ready to hear more about their story. I hope you guys are having a good week. Later!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Location

Hey, thanks for checking out my new blog location. I've been blogging on our church page for some time now but decided to move to a new location since I wasn't real happy with the options (or lack of) that the site had to offer for blogging. The webpage is great but the blogging is limited so I thought this would be better. Be sure and spread the word since thousands of people depend on my blog for daily encouragement and inspiration. Hope you guys are having a good Tuesday thus far. I'll be leaving for South Carolina tomorrow to visit NewSpring Church. God's doing a lot of cool stuff there. I know it will be worth the 10 hour drive. I had a friend call me yesterday to tell me he set his clock 1 hour back instead of forward. Therefore, he woke up 2 hours late. I've never heard of that before. He'll remain anonymous. Don't forget to bring somebody this weekend as we kick off our new series, "Fact or Fiction." Also, we have 4 people to baptize so get to church early and sit in the splash zone. Peace!