Crossroads: The Spirit

When I write my children’s sermons, I have a process. Usually, I read the Scripture, think about it for a few minutes, and then go do something else.

Crossroads: What Just Happened?

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have said, “Wait. What just happened?”

Crossroads: Jesus Is Transformed

God has changed my life in a lot of ways. For starters, I’ve never felt totally alone because I know that God is always with me. God has helped me get through some difficult times.

Crossroads: God Is Our Refuge

I was terrified of thunderstorms as a child. The thunder would get so loud that I just knew something bad would happen to me.

Crossroads: The Light Has Come

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” “You’re almost there!” “Blue skies are coming.” We use a lot of phrases to talk about how the light is coming.

Crossroads: The Waiting Is Over!

Luke 2:22-40 Your Story Talk to your children about when they joined your family. Tell them how you felt as you first met them, when the wait was finally over. My Story and the Bible Story One Christmas as a child, I really wanted a toy called “GoGo My Walkin’ Pup.” She walked and barked, […]

Crossroads: Love

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel loved by God. I grew up in the church, and I remember standing on top of the pew and sharing the hymnal with my mother.

Crossroads: Jesus is Here

I confess that I have a favorite Christmas story. I love Luke’s story of Christmas. This is the Christmas story that my family read every Christmas Eve.

Crossroads: Joy

I have a friend named Joy (she’s one of the 8-year-olds at church), and her name suits her personality. She always has a smile on her face and a radiant attitude.

Crossroads: Peace

dish detergent, water, and food coloring. We started with clear water, and then we began to talk about all the hard things that can happen in life.

Crossroads: Hope

I saw the Star Wars movies much later than many others. I was in my early twenties before I watched any of them, but when I did, I found a familiar story: of hope.

Crossroads: For the Least of These

My youth group went to serve lunch at a homeless shelter when I was a teenager. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wanted to help. We began by helping prepare the food and by making sandwiches for the people to take with them when they left.

Crossroads: Using What God Gives You

I’m a good organizer and I like to plan events, but I didn’t realize how these gifts would help me in ministry. I had planned on being an accountant, but God had other plans for me.

Crossroads: Blessed Are You

Every time I read the Beatitudes, I think about Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa spent her life caring for the poor and forgotten. She showed mercy to those who seemed unlovable, and she did her best to bring about peace.

Crossroads: What Is the Greatest Commandment?

As a rule follower, I also want to know the order of the rules. Which rules are most important? Are there rules that we can actually ignore? Which is the rule we absolutely must follow?

Crossroads: Who Goes with Us?

My grandfather fought in the Korean War. In fact, he almost died in that war. In the few times that he ever talked about it, he told us that after he had been wounded, when he thought he was dying, he saw an angel.

Crossroads: How Should We Live?

I am a worrier by nature. I worry about all kinds of things. I worry about my family and my friends. I worry about safety. I worry about whether an event is going to turn out well and if people are going to show up. I even worry about other people’s problems!

Crossroads: Being the Best

One semester in college, I asked my professor what I got on my final exam. He said something like a 94, and I asked what questions I missed. I’ll never forget his response: “Why does it matter? You got an A.”

Crossroads: The Shepherd

“Don’t talk to strangers.” It’s what my mother told me all the time growing up, and I’m sure it’s what you tell your own children. Strangers aren’t safe because you don’t know them.

Crossroads: Listening to God

Have you ever felt like God was telling you to do something? There have been times when I felt like God wanted me to call someone on the phone.

Crossroads: Love

In the book Love You Forever, both the mother and the son sing these words to each other at different times in their lives: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.”

Crossroads: Joy

God takes the dustiness of our lives—the mistakes and the bad things that happen to us—and uses them to make diamonds. In order for coal to turn into diamonds, it must undergo a lot of pressure.

Crossroads: Peace

When I was a teenager, my family and I went tubing down a river. Before we got in our rafts, the guide warned us to watch for bears. I knew that bears were dangerous and didn’t want to get close to one.

Crossroads: Count Your Blessings

This is the time of year when we stuff our faces with turkey, dumplings (my grandmother makes the best!), mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and a lot more dessert than we need.

Crossroads: Remembering the Saints

On All Saints’ Day, we remember the important people in our faith. We remember people like Abraham and Moses. We remember David. We remember Peter and the disciples. We remember Paul.

Crossroads: How Can We Find Joy in the Lord?

There are days when I feel close to God and days when I don’t. There are days when I absolutely know that I am following God and doing what God wants me to do, and there are days when I’m a bit unsure.

Crossroads: Sing Praises to God

God has answered many of my prayers over the years. Some of God’s answers have been yes, some no, and some that it wasn’t the time and I needed to wait. But I know that God always hears my prayers.

Crossroads: Don’t Give Up!

When we were kids, my sister hated school. She didn’t want to do her homework or study, so there were many times when she didn’t understand the material. When she was in middle school, though, she had an especially hard time with math.

Crossroads: Understanding Each Other

I’ve always loved the French language, and when I got into French classes in high school, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. I was so excited!

Crossroads: Jesus Is in Charge

As a teenager, I loved volunteering for Vacation Bible School. It felt like a promotion to be able to help. Suddenly, I was in charge (sort of). Instead of listening to what I was supposed to do, I was the one giving direction.

Crossroads: Jesus Gives Us Hope

When I was in the sixth grade, it felt like my life was falling apart. I didn’t have any friends, there was a lot of bad stuff happening at my church, and my mom and my stepdad were getting a divorce.

Crossroads: The Command that Jesus Gave

Every year, our church has a service day called Beyond Our Walls. On this day, more than 300 people go out into the community to serve. Some of our families and children spend time with senior adults at assisted living facilities.

Crossroads: God’s Sheep

Last week I got to see some sheep up close and personal, and I learned a few things. Sheep will “baa” at you when they think you’ve got something to eat. It doesn’t matter if they have just eaten; they will still complain.

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.

Crossroads: The Friend in the Night

My favorite word as a child was “why”. I know my mother got tired of me asking “Why?” all the time. I was a very curious child. In fact, as a small child, my mother had a hard time getting me to sleep. She said it seemed as if I always wanted to observe the world, to know what was going on.

Crossroads: Forgiving Others

When I was a teenager, my youth group planned a summer mission trip to Myrtle Beach. One of my best friends, John, was in our youth group, and we were both excited about the upcoming mission trip. John and I had roomed together on every church trip. We were great friends and enjoyed spending time together. As I arrived at the church to leave for the mission trip, I learned that John had decided to room with someone else.

Crossroads: The Presence of the Holy Spirit

Several years ago on a weekend retreat, I gathered with a group of teenagers in a dimly lit room to share an Agape Love Feast. Earlier, we had set up the room with candles, a plate of bread, and a large cup of grape juice.

Crossroads: Recognizing and Remembering

My father lives in the same small town where I grew up as a child. Though I moved away more than 25 years ago, I enjoy going back to this community to visit a few times each year. When we go back for these visits, I often see people around town who our family has known for many years.

Crossroads: “When You Think You Can’t Do Something” – Moses

In the movie Despicable Me, Gru is an unlikely (and at times unlikeable) hero. He adopts three girls as a way to steal the moon. He doesn’t want to be the hero. He wants to be left alone, to be the villain who does something brilliant.

Crossroads: Leaving and Coming Again

When I was eight years old, my parents sat me down one day and told me we were moving. At first, I was a little concerned and confused. I had always lived in the same house in the same town, so I wasn’t sure if I would like moving.

Crossroads: The Danger of Jealousy

For my tenth birthday, I received a wonderful present. It was a wind-up toy of a daredevil (Evel Knievel) who jumped over cars and buses on his motorcycle. I was so excited about this new toy—it was great!

Crossroads: Paying Attention

Have you ever fallen asleep or started daydreaming in a class, meeting, or event? Perhaps nobody noticed, but you left not really knowing what took place at that particular event. Or perhaps you had to give an answer to a question you hadn’t heard.

Crossroads: Redemption

I became a Christian when I was seven years old. Having grown up in the church, some of my earliest memories were of learning who Jesus is. There’s not a time that I can remember when I didn’t know who God was.

Crossroads: Peer Pressure

When I was in fifth grade, a new kid came to our choir program at church. I knew this boy, but he was not good friends with me and my pals. After choir we were all outside playing, and the new kid was standing off by himself watching us.

Crossroads: Jesus is Risen

Once upon a time I had a young friend named Philip. Philip was born with Downs Syndrome. He was a pleasant child—happy, it seemed—but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. Philip went to Sunday school at the Methodist church.

Crossroads: Parades

Parades can be fun. As I child, I remember watching parades on television. There was always a great sense of anticipation: “What will be the next float? Who will be on it? Will it be bigger or brighter or better than the last float?” I also remember going to parades in my younger years.

Crossroads: The Good Samaritan

As a young teenager, I went with my youth group to a soup kitchen one Saturday morning to feed the homeless. Several of my friends were going, and I wanted to have fun with my friends. But I didn’t actually want to feed the homeless.

Crossroads: The Prodigal Son

As the older child, I have always had a better understanding of what was going on in our family. I knew that our budget was tight, and so I never asked for anything exorbitant from my mom. My younger sister, however, never seemed to have any idea that we were strapped for cash.