The Green-Eyed Monster

Posted in Attitude, Envy, Victorious Living by PCraig on October 30, 2010

Tomorrow I’m speaking on the Green-Eyed Monster, which is envy.  Shakespeare’s Othello describes envy as the “green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” 

How many of us ignore the blessings of God in our lives because we’re so caught up in what other’s enjoy?  Two actions really springboard us into envy, they are:  comparing and complaining.  When I am comparing my life, my house, my church to others, I’ll always find someone better off and someone worse.  As I look at someone worse off, I’m tempted to be puffed up with pride.  When I gaze at someone better off, I’m tempted to envy. 

Complaining is all about focusing on what’s wrong in my life instead of what’s good.  The Bible says we should “do EVERYTHING without complaining or arguing…” (Phil 2:14).  When’s the last week you did that?  Hmm…thought so!  We all have a lot of work to do in this area. 

Don’t miss tomorrow’s message as we look at the secret to overcoming envy and living the victorious life God has for us! 

Proverbs 14:30  “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

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It’s Your Choice

Posted in Choice, Victorious Living by PCraig on October 28, 2010

One of the most powerful abilities God gave you is the power of choice.  What’s sad, is when people don’t use it.  Or worse yet, make a bad choice. 

You see you have the choice to see today as a skeptic, someone hurting, or a victim.  But…you also have the choice to see it as a believer, an overcomer and a victor. 

Which way are you looking at today?  It’s your choice!

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Weekend Reflections

Posted in Pursuing Jesus, Victorious Living, Weekend Reflections by PCraig on October 25, 2010

We truly had an awesome weekend with our Jr. High Journey retreat, Men’s Discipleship Walk, and guest Randy Ruiz on Sunday.  I’ve heard many good reports about each of these and how God touched lives in a significant way.  My prayer is always that we will carry it on long after the event is over. 

In the Sunday morning services, Randy challenged us to pursue Jesus rather than the things He can do for us.  Sounds easy enough.  However, life comes at us fast and before you know it we’re ignoring Jesus 95% of the week and then when we do give Him attention, it’s about us. 

What would happen if we made the pursuit of Jesus the focal point of our lives?  Why not give it a week and see?

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Weekend Events

Posted in Distractions, Events, Personal Growth by PCraig on October 23, 2010

My daughter is gone to an event called Jr. High Journey this weekend in which tons of younger teens will get together to worship and be exposed to God’s Word.  At the same time, several of our men are gone on our Discipleship Walk that is held over the weekend.  We have one for the men and, last week, one for the ladies.  Again, it is a time to worship and be impacted by the Word of God. 

The value of going to events like these is this – would you do it otherwise?  In other words, if you didn’t sign up and leave home with others would you spend a weekend worshiping and hearing from God?  Most likely, you would find yourself getting caught up with your phone, texting, googling, or yard work, cleaning, or countless other tasks including mindless television. 

This is why we attempt to provide events such as these, so that people like you and me that get caught up in all kinds of activity can channel it on something that matters.  What would happen to you if you gave a weekend to God?  Why don’t you find out when the next time for sign up comes around?

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Posted in Hearing God, Prayer, Solitude by PCraig on October 20, 2010

We live in a noisy, busy culture that applauds those who go faster, demonstrate neurotic busyness, and a flurry of activity.  Yet even though these individuals are covering a lot of territory, how deep are they?  Sure, they tweet alot, are all over Facebook, and have more fans and postings than you can imagine, but is that what’s important. 

Jesus never had a Facebook page, never tweeted, and didn’t watch cable.  But there’s something He did that many never do – take time for solitude. 

There would be times in which Jesus was missing and His followers would wonder where He was and they would find Him in solitude.  These times were what gave Him the depth, poise, and strength for the next challenge. 

It’s also in these moments that we hear God.  Do you need to hear Him?  Are you willing to unplug from the frantic noise of our culture to get in a quiet, lonely place with your Heavenly Father?  Instead of complaining or asking why God never speaks to you, are you willing to clear the space so you can listen?  Solitude isn’t popular, but it sure is powerful.

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Weekend Reflections

Posted in Victorious Living, Weekend Reflections by PCraig on October 18, 2010

This past weekend was full of activity, but the greatest part is always life change.  Anytime anyone moves from being disconnected to more closely connected to God – it’s a great weekend!  We saw this happen all weekend during our Women’s Discipleship Walk.  Over 30 ladies gathered up at a campground to draw closer in their walk with the Lord.  God ALWAYS honors that kind of commitment.  I can’t wait to hear all the stories of what God did in the lives of each one who participated.  The Men’s Discipleship Walk is this coming weekend, and I anticipate another powerful time.  If you still want to go, there are just a couple of spots left, so contact the church office 838-9100. 

God mightily used the sermon on Sunday to inspire people to break the addictions over their lives.  Some told me it was pornography, others smoking, and I’m sure I’ll hear about more later.  If you were unable to be with us, then please either listen to the podcast or pick up a CD this coming weekend. 

I love what God is doing in our midst and hope you are getting right in the middle of it!

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Walking With The Spirit

Posted in Holy Spirit, Victorious Living by PCraig on October 14, 2010

What does it take to walk in the Spirit?  Paul challenges each of us to “keep in step” with the Holy Spirit, but how do you do that?  I liken it to taking a walk with someone.  If you and I were walking together while conversing, it wouldn’t work too well if I kept walking ahead of you.  By doing so, it would be difficult for me to hear you and I wouldn’t even know if you turned a corner and were no longer there. 

Paul is saying, “Don’t go walking off on your own, instead keep in step with the Spirit so he can talk to you, guide you, and lead you into all God has for you.”  So, how about you?  Are you in step with the Spirit?  Did he already turn a corner and you didn’t notice?  Is He close enough you can hear Him?

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Posted in Criticism, One Year Bible, Personal Growth, Perspective by PCraig on October 13, 2010

There is a big difference between valid and invalid criticism.  The distinction comes in what each produces:  one makes you feel like you can do better, the other makes you feel like quitting.  One gives hope and the other brings discouragement.  That’s how you know which one to pay attention to and which one to tune out. 

When in the receiving mode, you must listen to see if the person giving criticism is trying to make you better by pointing out a flaw.  They do this by saying things like, “Have you ever thought of doing that this way?”  By doing this, they are gently trying to suggest there is a better way you might consider.  On the other hand, destructive criticism sounds something like this, “You really don’t know what you’re doing to you?” or, “Who do you think you are to try doing something like that, it is sure to fail!” 

We need to seek to be givers of constructive criticism, looking for opportunities to spur people along in their endeavors.  Who is around you that you could help raise to another level?  How might your insightful words improve another person’s life? 

Be sure to listen for constructive criticism in your life and not be too proud to apply it. 

Proverbs 25:12 To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.

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Let’s Get Radical

Posted in Parenting, Victorious Living by PCraig on October 11, 2010

The longer I’m a Christian, the more I believe that true Christianity can be boiled down to one thing:  Love God with ALL your heart.  I mean doesn’t that solve just about everything else?  Think about it.  If you love God will ALL your heart, are you going to say hurtful things to your spouse?  Are you going to talk about others behind their back?  Are you going to ignore all the injustice in the world? 

In this past weekend services, I shared how important it is for parents to demonstrate this kind of over-the-top, head over heals, insane, crazy kind of love for God to their kids.  In a recent CNN report, it said that committed Christian teens shared four traits.  They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future.  Where did they get this?  Their parents mostly.  The article goes on to suggest that a parent “get radical” in their own faith to inspire religious passion in their children. 

So, how about it parent, are you ready to get radical?  Ready to look and act different than your neighbors and friends?  It will do more for your kids than a multitude of sermons could ever do.  C’mon let’s get radical!

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Serving Together

Posted in Serving by PCraig on October 10, 2010

It was awesome to see so many people involved in ministry once again this weekend.  Every Sunday I’m amazed at how many jump in together to create an atmosphere where God can change lives.  All you have to do is read the book of Acts to discover how the power of the Holy Spirit is released when God’s people serve together. 

It is so inspiring to watch those who weren’t connected in church at all a few months ago, now giving their time, talent and treasure to reach others for God.  Thank you Crossroads family for being so amazing and demonstrating what can happen when we serve together.

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