A Holy Threshold

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? The only human with clean hands and a pure heart will, and he will never lift up his soul to what is false.

Crossroads: The Empty Tomb

I’ve believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember. I was in church almost from the moment I was born, and I don’t remember believing anything different.

The Great

Great. That’s a word we’ve heard again and again in recent years. Conquerors and strongmen throughout time fancied themselves as great.

Crossroads: Waiting on the Lord

I find myself anxious a good bit of the time. I worry about what will happen, whether or not something will actually occur, and if things will turn out okay. It seems like Psalm 27 was written for worriers.

“Come and See”

After witnessing the weeping of Mary and her surrounding community, Jesus is greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved (v. 33). But he does not weep himself until the people entreat him to “come and see” where Lazarus’s body has been laid (v. 34).

Crossroads: Everyone

My granddad loved to fish. And I wasn’t a fan of fishing. In fact, I thought fishing was pretty boring. But one day he talked me into going fishing with him for a tournament. We have pictures to prove that I caught a fish that day (that I wouldn’t touch).

Persecuted

There are people all over the world who are being persecuted—truly persecuted—for righteousness’ sake, for the sake of their faithful witness to their relationship with God and to the ways of God’s kingdom.

Hunger Pains

After five days of camping, hiking, and high ropes courses in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, the first thing I wanted to do was take a long, steamy shower. The second thing I wanted to do was eat.

Opened Heavens

Jesus’ baptism somehow prompted an amazing representation of the thing that Jesus’ life in its entirety was about: the barrier between heaven and earth was penetrated and the way from heaven to earth and from earth to heaven was opened.

Crossroads: God’s Great Plan for You

As a child, I never liked to see people unhappy. I always wanted to do what I could to help. When I was about five, we went to a local nursing home to sing for the residents. While we were there, we met a lady in a wheelchair who really wanted to go home.

Crossroads: The Body of Christ

Talk about a time in your life when you had to work as a team with others. Talk about what your role was and how each person had a different role. What were you trying to accomplish?

Crossroads: How Big Is God’s Love?

I can remember saying “I love you this much!” as a child, with my arms open wide. I’m sure you’ve seen children do this before: they open their arms as wide as they can and say “I love you this much!” Or they give you a bear hug and squeeze and say the same thing.

Crossroads: Why We Baptize

I have loved Jesus for practically my whole life. I grew up in church, and we were there pretty much every time the church was open. At seven years old, I told Jesus that I wanted him to be my Savior and I was baptized.

“Trust Me”

I lay on a gurney in a hospital emergency room. Two fire ant bites had caused me to break out in welts, with my ears ringing loudly and my airway getting tighter by the minute.

Favored One

There she sits on the dusty ground, more child than woman, wearing much-mended hand-me-downs. Calloused hands are cooking bread on heated stones.

Crossroads: Thanksgiving

This is a time when families gather together around a table filled with food, and remember all of the things for which they are thankful. Some years it’s easy to remember the blessings you’ve been given. But other years, it seems as if nothing has gone right.

“I Hate Your Festivals”

Take a moment to think of your favorite hymn or worship song. Now take another moment to think about your favorite annual worship service.

Crossroads: Giving Generously

Has there been a time when you didn’t have much, but you still gave to the church or to someone else? Talk about that sacrifice: how it felt, how you had to step out on faith, etc.

Crossroads: God Is Our Refuge

Last week our devotion was on times when it seems like God isn’t there. This week’s psalm is a reminder to us that God is always there and that God is our refuge.

“What Is It?”

When evening comes, and quails fly into the hunger-stricken Israelite camp, it must have been something like Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.

Crossroads: Small

Has nature ever just wowed you? Have you ever felt small when looking at the ocean or the stars? Talk about a time when you felt awed by something in nature.

Crossroads: The Answer Is Prayer

I’m a worrier. It’s who I am. I worry about test results, about family members and close friends, about the future, etc. Sometimes my worry feels overwhelming. And so I pray.

Crossroads: Children

“Children should be seen and not heard.” “Go sit at the kid’s table.” Did you hear things like this when you were a child? Maybe you were taught that you should sit quietly and not interrupt the grownups who were talking.

Just the Way You Are

Like millions of kids who grew up between 1970 and 2001, our son watched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood almost every weekday for many years. Generations of kids loved and trusted this caring adult who spoke directly to them in the most personal and respectful way.

God’s Feminine Side Is Plain to See

Any half way decent theologian will tell you that God is decidedly not an old man on a throne in the sky. That this image of God persists somehow in the popular imagination, most likely has to do with some language we find in the Bible and the layers and layers of patriarchy involved in the whole shebang.

Crossroads: Do Something

Theory and practice are two very different things. I may believe that I can do something, but until I actually do it, who knows whether or not I can?

Crossroads: What Should I Ask For?

As a child of the 90s, I cannot tell you how many times I watched Aladdin. It was one of my favorite movies.

Crossroads: Watch What God Does

Have you ever been in a foreign place where you didn’t know what to do and how to act? Most of the time, when we are in places like these, we watch others to see what they do and how they act.

Crossroads: Roots

Today’s Scripture is all about our roots growing in God’s love. How do you feel about your life’s roots? Have they grown deep in God’s love?

Crossroads: King of Glory

The LORD Almighty is the King of glory. The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it. Praise the LORD! Sometimes we forget that everything is God’s and that God created everyone.

Crossroads: Our Guide

We recently finished Everest VBS. As the leader of Base Camp Sing and Play as well as Summit Celebration, I was known as a Sherpa. A Sherpa is an expert guide on Mount Everest whose job it is to guide climbers safely up and back down Everest.

Crossroads: Giving

One of my favorite stories of giving comes from one of the children at church. At six years old, she received a dollar from the tooth fairy for losing a tooth. But she didn’t use that money to buy something for herself.

Crossroads: The Storms of Life

I was always terrified of storms as a child. The thunder scared me the most, and my mom could never convince me that the thunder couldn’t hurt me.

Crossroads: God Knows

Talk about a time in your life when you felt invisible, when you felt like no one else knew your pain and it seemed like you were on your own. Did you turn to God?

Crossroads: Holy, Holy, Holy

God is different from everything else in our universe. He is the Creator, and the only One who is holy. I am most reminded of God’s holiness during communion and during Holy week.

Crossroads: Being a Witness

My grandmother calls herself a “scrap baby.” She was born in 1928, on the cusp of the Great Depression. Because she was the baby of her family, she always received the scraps.

Crossroads: Friends

I was at school when I got the call that she was gone, and a friend of mine found me crying in the hallway. He comforted me and then we went our separate ways.

Crossroads: Staying Connected

I have always loved wisteria. I know that it’s a parasite, but it has always been beautiful to me. One of my favorite parts of driving to my grandparents’ house as a kid was driving past the beautiful wisteria growing in a patch of trees.

Crossroads: Compassion

How do you show compassion for others? Did you help others when you were a child, or is it something you have started recently?

Crossroads: A Blank Slate

It’s no secret that I loved school as a child. One of my favorite parts about going back to school was buying school supplies. Even if I had pens and pencils at home, I wanted new ones for school.

A Dark Day of Rest

The disciples, the women who had been following Jesus, and the other followers of Christ rested on the Sabbath. Joseph of Arimathea had taken Jesus’ body on that Friday and placed him in a tomb.

Crossroads: I Doubt It

When I was a child, we always played a game called “I doubt it” when we went on vacation. It was a card game and the point was to be the person who got rid of all of their cards first.

A Quiet Life: Living at Peace with One’s Self

One great embarrassment of Christians is that we talk so much and so loudly. Interviews and conversations of all kinds often remind us of a pride of lions feeding, snapping and snarling, each lunging in for a moment and then getting shoved aside by others.

Crossroads: Good Friday, A World in Ruins

Have you ever had a week start off well, but by the end of it all hope seems lost? Terrible things happen all at once, and you just aren’t sure how you’re going to make it another hour, let alone another day.

Do Not Resist an Evil Person

How do you respond to someone who does not behave as a Christian ought to behave, whether they are or are not a fellow Christian? The easy answer is to quote Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, “turn the other cheek.”

Angry

The chances that we will murder somebody are thankfully slim. The chances that we will get angry enough at someone to want them dead…

Crossroads: Praise the Lord!

As I write this, my family is getting ready to remember several losses in our family. On January 25th, we lost my great-grandmother (my mom’s grandmother) and my aunt (my dad’s sister), two years apart.

Crossroads: Being Creative

As a child, I loved making up songs. I’d make up the tune as well as the words and sing these songs to myself as I played. Occasionally I even wrote the words down.