Thursday, May 29

Undeserved Kindness

I'm in Romans chapter 3. It's right after the classic verse, "we've all sinned, we've all fallen short...". The only 'righteousness' I have...the only reason I am free is because of this 'undeserved kindness' that God has shown me.

It's easy to be kind to those who deserve it. It's 'a whole notha level' to be kind to those who don't deserve it.

I'm glad that I don't get what I deserve, aren't you?

So, when your waitress is having a terrible day, give her a bigger than usual tip, not less. That's Romans 3:24.

Monday, May 26

Church Websites

We're in the process of creating/building/launching a new church website.

Like church buildings themselves, church websites vary from stuffy and archaic to very modern with every current piece of technology available.

So, what do you think a church website should look like? What key features/options should it have? How much video is too much? How much flash is too much? What info should be on there? What do you not like about church sites?


As most of you know, we're working through a series right now called "Juicy Fruit", based on Galatians 5:22. It has been a very impacting series for our church. It's one of those times when as a Pastor you can just feel God at work in people's lives.

The 'fruit' that we are on this coming Sunday is kindness. At the end of last week's service we issued the 'kindness challenge'. Wasn't that kind of us? So, how are you doing so far? Have you shown unusual kindness to someone? What was their reaction? What was your reaction? Can you see how God uses undeserved kindness to show His love to others?

If you want a head start on our text this week, look @ Romans 2 & 3. Really, you can look at all of Romans and see how God has offered us undeserved grace because of his kindness towards us.

Let's ramp the challenge up a bit. How about being kind to someone you usually avoid?

If you have any interesting stories of kindness from this week, post them to me here, or email me, or facebook me.

The Annual Meeting

Here's the scoop!

- Around 60 people showed up
- Coffee and sweets in the lobby
- People wanted to stay in the lobby ;-)
- The main component wire from the Mac to the projector was unplugged and thus we had no words on screen for most of the opening worship
- Service started 6 minutes late due to tech glitches
- I shared the 4 types of church growth from Acts 2:42-47 (email me if you want 'em)
- We 'bundled' almost everything
- Scanned all the ministry reports first
- Byard Smith gave an excellent finance report!
- We presented this year's proposed budget
- We presented this year's lba roster, including new nominations (none were from the floor)
- We mentioned the delegates to district conference and the future of the trustees (Facility Team)
- We voted (verbal) on all of that as one 'package'
- We presented the ballot for the name change, from "Olivet" to "Crosspoint"
- 44 yes, 8 no
- Meeting adjourned (1hr, 10 min)

Saturday, May 24

Juicy Fruit 4

Here's a fraction of what's been happenin' lately around the church, etc:

We had the new phone system installed this week. Better phones, better service, pretty much better everything for less money. Go figure. The guys @ Multi-Com have been terrific and very patient (tomorrow's theme) with us. "Do I hit transfer first or do I hit the person's extension first"? haha When one of us isn't manning (or womanning) the phones, you'll get a menu of options. Hit the # for the person you want and you will get us or our voice mail. I love progress!!

Everyday Sunday and Planes of Light were in concert here Thursday night. I'm glad that I'm a part of a church that believes in the next generation. May God truly raise up a generation of young people who want all Jesus all the time.

Pastor Amy won the war with the photocopier and did an EXCELLENT job of getting our annual report together. Way to go Ames. Look for some pretty cool promo on VBS in your bulletin tomorrow. Good things are happening in Children's Ministry and it's going to be a great summer.

We're 'cooking up' a great summer theme/series. We worked on it this week and we should be unveiling it in the next week or so.

Our family drove to Saint John - Quispamsis yesterday to visit my folks. Good times. Good pizza, excellent blue berry pie. Excellent Irving-Peruvian in both directions (try it). We stopped in to the Roots Outlet store in Saint John and grabbed up some really good deals.

The Symonds Quartet performed at the Seniors Dinner here last night. I haven't heard yet how it went. Any reports?

Bill Moore has a group of teens here at the church today preparing meals for seniors. They are going to deliver 26 meals for supper tonight! Awesome job Bill! Way to go teens. I love this church!

Kermit Smith was just over to the parsonage with his tiller. He dug us up good! We're going to put a new flower bed in the front yard. Can't wait.

We continue our 'Juicy Fruit' series tomorrow with "Patience". I'm thinking we'll just skip the sermon and go straight to an altar call. Haha. We all could use more patience. In the O.T. patience meant, "be patient, God is going to whoop your enemy". In the N.T. it means, "be patient, God has won, and you will too". There are a few different words for patience. We're going to look at 'hypomne'. How's your hypomone?

Wednesday, May 21

Absentee Ballots

Yup, they're available.

Stop by the church office Thurs or Fri.



This week has been a little crazy so far. Good, but crazy!

Pastor Mark delivered an absolutely rock solid outstanding message on 'Peace' Sunday morning. It was the third installment in our "Juicy Fruit" series that is looking at the goods the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives. Personally, I am loving this series. I can tell that we are being challenged to look into the mirror and ask the question, "What is my life producing?"

Our newest staff member, Ruth Woodworth, had a birthday yesterday. Woo Hoo. Our most life-experienced staff member, Pastor Conard, has a birthday tomorrow. Ask him how old he is...he'll grin.

Our annual meeting is this Sunday. Boring? Nope. Dry? Nope. As much fun as bathing a cat? Nope. We're going to celebrate God's goodness to us and prepare our hearts for the next church year! Come spiritually prepared.

We've had a lot of fun planning for this Sunday. The theme is 'Patience'. Yeah, I could hear you groaning or laughing or both. We're all guilty on this one! Maybe we should just start with an altar call?! Ha. Seriously though, we're anticipating another Sunday of life-change as we collectively surrender and allow God to stretch us and change us. Bring a friend!

Thursday, May 15

10:00 A.M.

We shift to one service @ 10 a.m. this Sunday! Help us get the word out. Are you sure that everyone in your 'circle' knows of the time change? Our average for the 9 Sundays of "Olivet Double Double" was 284. That's amazin'. Pastor Conard had a crew in here this week and we now have 300+ chairs in the sanctuary. As I mentioned Sunday morning, if parking is a zoo and we're just too full, I will be the first to stand up and say, "I'm an idiot". If need be, we'll make a hasty retreat back to two services. By the way, if you are going to have challenges, these are the right kind of challenges to have!

Staff Retreat wrap up:
- We left Fredericton and made it all the way to Oromocto without stopping! We quickly pulled in to McDonalds and Tim Hortons and loaded up. I had a coffee and muffin (low fat blueberry that tasted like paper).
- We spent most of our time in Ruthie's cottage. Her living room, with all of it's windows, backing right on to the still-high Saint John River, made for a chilly but productive place for us to work.
- We planned out most of the series/themes for next year (summer '08 - May '09)
- Back in to Ruthie's van and off to Montana's in Saint John for supper. Yum. One of us ordered dessert. I'll let you guess who. ;-)
- Back to the cottage for more chat on the vision and ministries of Crosspoint.
- Tuesday a.m. The guys had a working shower, but no hot water. The girls cottage had hot water but no shower. Bad combo! Fruit and English muffins for breakfast. More think-tank work on things like 1st Wednesday, new website, branding, Crosspoint promo, etc.
- We packed up around noon and headed home. We made it all the way to the top of the hill without stopping! We quickly pulled in to the Irving for coffee and Baleman's for ice-cream.

This coming year is going to be huge for our church. We'll be challenged more than ever as we continue to grow spiritually and numerically. Pray for the staff of the church when you think of us. Thanks!

Monday, May 12

Staff Retreat

Yesterday was amazing! Special Mom give-aways, men out in the kitchen brewing up the Second Cup coffee, every Mom given a white spruce tree from the kids, awesome worship, and a great crowd!

Today we (5 staff members) are off to a staff retreat at Beulah Camp. It's the 'first ever' Crosspoint Staff Retreat. We're going to eat a lot of snacks, do a ton of planning and programming for the coming months, laugh our faces off, eat more snacks, chat about what God is doing, etc. It's more organized than that, but you get the gist of what I consider to be a great staff retreat. A combination of 'get away' and 'get it done'!

Just had an interview with Laura Murray. She is one of our college students and she is receiving the government work grant to work with us all summer. Congratulations Laura! We look forward to having you on the team!

John Sherwood is doing his college internship with us. Beginning the first of June, John will spend 6 months working primarily with me and getting an inside look at running a church. We're blessed to have John at Crosspoint! It's going to be a great 6 months and beyond.

If you are counting, that makes 7 of us on staff this summer!

I voted this a.m. Saw a few Crosspointer's there. N.B. is the first province to use a new electronic counting system. What was wrong with the old way? Why can't they leave things alone? Why all of this creativity and innovation??? Haha, I couldn't resist.

Have a great week being salt and light in your world. Don't forget your 'joy'!

Friday, May 9


Many churches spend a lot of time talking about how to 'close the back door'. Personally, I wish we'd spend more time talking about how to open the front doors!

I'm reflecting on how many different people have come through our doors this past week for one thing or another. Sunday services, Tuesday Seniors, 1st Wednesday, 1st Wednesday Kids, the Shakedown - Youth, people coming and going for tomorrow's Mozambique Yard Sale, etc. I even met a group of ladies who were in this week to sew up a project for Haiti. It'd be interesting to know how many people we have been in contact with this week through our various ministries. Youth and our Sunday services reached well over 350 by themselves.

What are you doing to help people come through the front door? Mother's Day is a great opportunity to invite someone!

Yard Sale!!! - Rain or shine. We're counting on 'shine'. Pastor Amy has some great stuff planned for the kids. The 'treasures' are piling up as people are dropping off donations at the church. Come and support a great cause.

Tuesday, May 6

Pizza & Salad

The supper for 1st Wednesday is sounding like it's going to be our best yet. If you aren't in to Pizza Delight or are trying to watch your pizza intake levels ;-) no worries... There is going to be a selection of salads as well.

Off to a meeting this morning on 'flood relief' @ Smythe Street Cathedral. A rep from Samaritan's Purse, Calgary is going to be there. I'll let you know if we are going to be in 'rally the troops' mode.

Looking like a sunny day is shaping up. It's May 6 and we still have a pile of snow in the church parking lot. Booo

Monday, May 5

Sunday re-cap

"Juicy Fruit" got off to a great start yesterday! There were great crowds in both services (for those of you who go to the 9, we consider anything over 80 people 'great' and there were 85). In case you are wondering, there was around 285 here yesterday and we're averaging around 280 (doubles not counted) since we went to 2-services.

Worship was very genuine and focused yesterday. We could tell that people were very much engaged in the worship. It's always good to see a freedom where people want to be at the altar for prayer. The band was pretty much acoustic which made for a very different Sunday morning feel. As I mentioned last week, I think this series has a lot of potential for us. "Surrender" is the key. If we really want this bad enough, God will move in and bless us and we'll never be the same.

Another highlight of yesterday was introducing Ruth Woodworth as a member of our staff. It'll become official at the annual meeting, but for the most part she is already on the team! There is no one we'd rather have leading worship at Olivet! be sure to send her a word of encouragement and congrats.

Hope is playing hockey in my office right now. ;-)

After church yesterday we hustled over to Moncton Wesleyan for the Grand Opening of their new worship center. It was an energized affair filled with enthusiasm, thanksgiving, and vision. The 2000 seat auditorium is beautiful. One of these days we should get a caravan together, zip over to Moncton for a Sunday night service, and grab a bite @ Montana's. :-)

1st Wednesday is coming up! See you for Pizza Delight pizza, salads, etc @ 5:30. Service at 7.

Don't miss Mother's Day @ Olivet. Who can you invite?

Saturday, May 3

Quick Thoughts

- We have a bunch (35-40) teens @ "The Rally in the Valley" right now. Pray for their safe return tonight and that God will continue to speak to their hearts drawing them closer to him.
- I was sitting in box seats (yeah, the ones with free food) for yesterday's opening game of the World Hockey Championship. Canada handled Slovenia very easily, but it was still an entertaining deal. The Slovenia goalie, Kristan, was incredible. He faced around 60 shots from Heatley, Spezza, Getzlaf, etc. He was worth the drive.
- We're going to Moncton Wesleyan right after church tomorrow to attend the Grand Opening of their new worship center. It seats 2000, and with all the overflow and satellite spots around the facility they expect 3500 people. John Maxwell is the special guest. They invited all pastors and wives of the Atlantic District, so I'm hoping they've got spots saved for us in the new worship center. I've been in it a couple of times (walked around the stage for 10 minutes last night) and it is a very impressive spot!
- I'm looking forward to tomorrow! I think this new series is going to change us forever.
- Pray for those affected by the flood and offer to help any way you can!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 1


We're praying today for the many families and businesses affected by the flooding. I've talked with the Red Cross to see if there is anything our church can do to help. It's looking as though this will be the most severe flood in Eastern Canada on record.

This Sunday: We are kicking off the series, "Juicy Fruit". If you want a head start jump in to the book of Galatians. The first 'fruit' we are going to look at is 'love'. Jesus was love. Jesus is love. We are called to love God first, then others and ourselves. Love is the first way and the best way that people will know we are Christians. So, if you look at what your life is producing, how much love is there? Sunday is going to be great. Invite someone!

My brother in law Randy is taking me to see Team Canada play Slovenia in Halifax tomorrow. Sweet!

The last 1st Wednesday until September is next week. We're going to have Pizza Delight, awesome worship, and a look into James 3 - "Wildfire - Watching what you say". Hunger for more of God? Want to go deeper in your faith? Looking for a service that isn't rushed and gives you time to settle into God's presence? Come to 1st Wednesday.