Date Night

Posted in Marriage, Parenting, Relationships by PCraig on February 28, 2011

Every week I look forward to “date night.”  What is it?  For us, it’s a Thursday evening where we make arrangements for our daughter to generally go to her grandparent’s house for the night.  She loves it (they spoil her) and we love it (we get time alone)! 

In my opinion, a date night does several positives:

  1. It gives uninterrupted time for the couple to reconnect in a busy schedule.
  2. It shows the child that your marriage is important to you (they grow to respect this).
  3. It demonstrates what kind of marriage they should strive for later in life.
  4. It further shows that your home is not child-focused, because one day they will leave. 

 Some of you may say, “Yeah that’s great, but we don’t have family close by to watch our kid(s).”   We haven’t always had this either so, here are two suggestions:  hire a sitter (your marriage is worth the money) or, trade off with another family each week, so you watch their kids one night and they watch yours another. 

 A strong marriage gives kids a sense of stability, strength and confidence that provides a solid foundation for their lives.  One of the best gifts you can give your kids is a great relationship with your spouse.  Get it on the calendar!

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Circle Time

Posted in Fellowship, Friendship, Life Group, Time by PCraig on February 24, 2011

My wife, Rachelle, used to teach preschool for many years.  Part of the lesson plan each day would be a scheduled “circle time”, in which the kids would sit in a circle to hear a story.  It was during this time that many of the children would comment on the story and what they thought of it.  Sometimes, they would share a little about their young lives and how it related to the story like, “I also have a dog, …a red bike, …or a big house!” 

Circles are great for allowing people to look around and express themselves to each other.  It’s easier to listen to a person’s story when you can see their facial expressions.  Most of us feel more comfortable telling some of our story when we see the approving nods of others that suggest they know exactly what we’re saying. 

I believe everyone needs to have “circle time.”  Each of us need a place where we can go and safely share anything we feel to express.  We need an environment that allows us to be ourselves and yet inspires us to be something more.  Unfortunately, as adults most of us don’t make time for it. 

Here at Crossroads, we call it Life Groups.  A place where adults can get together, generally in someone’s home, and have some “circle time.”  We believe in this so much that only have one Wednesday evening service a month to allow for people to meet in groups throughout the month.  I know we’re all busy, so we try to keep the church calendar as free as possible to allow time for this important part of our spiritual growth. 

Now, not only do Rachelle and I belong to a Life Group, she is still doing “circle time” with a small group in our kid’s ministry (JAM).  Let me also mention that our student ministry gets in circles each month and have nearly 100% participation. 

If you’re not currently in a Life Group, the good news is that there is an orientation coming up in early March to help get you connected.  Don’t miss out on one of the great blessings of life by failing to share in “circle time.”

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Bringing About Change

Posted in Change, Victorious Living by PCraig on February 17, 2011

What a change we are experiencing in weather from last week!  We’ve gone from icy cold conditions to feeling like spring in just a matter of days.  Sometimes change can happen fast.  For example, it only took 18 days of demonstrations to bring down the government in the nation of Egypt.  So, why does it take us so long to change? 

In my observation, people are much more slow to change and accept change than trees, grass, flowers and even governments.  What would it be like if you could change your health in 18 days?  How about your marriage?  Or, improving your finances?   

If an entire national government can be changed in less than a month, why does it take us so long to change?  Like give up smoking, drinking too much, pornography, and other addictions?  How come the weather can change, but we are willing to live with the same bad attitude we had a week ago? 

Seems like we could learn something from the environment around us.  What needs to change in your life?  What habits do you still need to kick?  What good habits do you need to practice?  You may not be able to get to the final outcome in a week or 18 days, but I bet you can make some strides if you try.  Consider a few you could do today, and if you do, think about where you might be this time next year.

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What it Takes to do Ministry

Posted in Faith, Generosity, Giving by PCraig on February 16, 2011

Leave a comment about what you think about the vBlog.

-Pastor Craig

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Don’t Just Take Up Space

Posted in Attitude, Impact, Personal Growth, Victorious Living by PCraig on February 10, 2011

For many people their life is about the time they put in.  Whether it’s work, romance, projects or just life itself, they focus more on the amount of time they gave.  It comes across, “You know I’ve worked here for 20 years now.”  Or, “We’ve been together for 8 years now.”  Instead of focusing on the amount of time you’ve devoted, wouldn’t it be better to focus on the impact you’ve made?  This would alter our remarks to, “You know I changed the way business was handled here.”  Or, “Every year I try to do more for my spouse by being creative.” 

Instead of life being about putting in my 40 hours and can’t wait to leave, it would be about making a difference.  And, what if you actually did?  Rather than tallying up another year accomplished in your marriage, what if you determined to make it better? 

So, it got me thinking about ways to make an impact instead of taking up space.  Here are just a few I thought of:

  1. Read to your child (extra points if it’s the Bible)
  2. Become a Big Brother/Big Sister to someone
  3. Share your faith in Christ with a co-worker (or anyone listening)
  4. Volunteer in a ministry
  5. Sponsor a child (75 people @ Crossroads do!)
  6. Give to Missions (Crossroads supports over 20 local, U.S. and global outreaches)
  7. Be a person of prayer (Prayer can change anything)
  8. Show grace and mercy to “the least of these” (find someone down & lift them)

Come up with your own list and then pick at least one and begin doing it.  What kind of world would it be if each of us were making a difference instead of taking up space?

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Parental Influence

Posted in Parenting by PCraig on February 3, 2011

Just recently, the Barna Group did a study among teenagers and discovered that the person they most look up to in their lives is usually their parents.  This study can mean good news or bad news.  It’s good news if you’re doing a good job in being a leader worth following.  Bad news if you don’t want your children following in your steps, because they are looking your way anyway. 

This just confirms what I have always believed, that parents are the primary influence over their children and cannot ignore that responsibility.  As a church, we desire to come alongside you and try to strengthen your position, equip you with tools and inspire you to be a great influence. 

If you want to read the entire study, just go to http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/467-teen-role-models and you can read all he has to say on the topic.  As a parent of an elementary age child, the influence is even greater than when they reach the teen years. 

What do you do with this information? 

  1. Take your job seriously as the most powerful influence in your child’s life
  2. Understand that you have this time to take advantage of your influence
  3. Do the things you want to see your child doing: going to church, reading the Bible, praying, being honest, showing kindness…

Parents, you have this moment, so make it count!

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