Memorial Day is about Remembering

Many of you may not know that my Uncle Ted was MIA in the Korean War and was not found for 17 months. He was finally located on a Korean beach where he had been hastily interred. We were told that Ted was killed while rushing off a troop carrier, he was only 20 year old.

The Korean War is often called “The Forgotten War” but it will never be forgotten by my family.

Gratefully, it only lasted three years,

June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953.

What you may not realize is that The United States Armed Forces suffered 33,665 Americans killed in action in Korea.

As I researched my uncle’s military history and the record of his death on the Korean War Project Website, I found out that he died in the deadliest of all battles of the Korean War.

The Battle of the Pusan Perimeter which lasted from August 4, 1950-September 16, 1950, cost 3,603 American lives and although it was very early in the war it easily proved to be the deadliest battle. My Uncle was one of those 3,603 casualties.

My father and my other uncle, Joe, also served in the Korean war. I was born while my father was away serving our Navy many thousand of miles from home. I honor the fighting men of our nation who gave their last full measure of devotion for our freedom and also those who have given years of their young lives to serve our country!

THANK YOU for your sacrifices!


9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Army

Hostile, Died (KIA)
Date Of Loss: September 1, 1950
Location of Loss: YONGSAN, SOUTH KOREA

Born: August 21, 1930

Comments: Private First Class Groeneveld was a member of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on September 1, 1950.

Korean War Project Key No: 11547

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Why I Facebook and Twitter

When I tell people I Facebook and Twitter I often get


Uninformed people often roll their eyes and question me.

They ask how I can justify

wasting so much time in such frivolous pursuits!

Well, this weekend I had that experience once too often!

I set up a table in our church lobby…

with the aim of recruiting bloggers and social-network enthusiasts.

My intention was to start a Blogging and Social-Networking Group.

A group which would gather people

who are interested in the SKILL behind Internet Social Media.

A group focused on learning new ways to reach out and

effectively communicate with more people on the worldwide web.

A group whose goal is, ultimately,

to stay in step with our culture and

to share our Christian values in culturally relevant ways!

But what did I get for all my trouble!


I was horrified as a talked to large numbers of people

who are CLUELESS about the value and importance of social media.

It was not one or two people who questioned me,

about why I view social networking as having redeeming social value.

It was, in fact the majority of people.

Well, a couple of days have passed since then…

and, my frustration has not passed!

So, I have written this post to answer my critics,

I want to scream ARE YOU KIDDING ME?


I just want to take the time to point out, I am NOT THE CRAZY ONE!

If you think becoming effective at social media is frivolous or valueless;


Our culture is currently in a SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION and whether you know it or not,

there is…


Social networking is the BIGGEST thing on the internet.

It is BIGGER than porn!

And BIGGER than on-line shopping!





Please educate yourselves and watch the following video!

Please save me the awkward chore of insulting you!



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The History of Halloween! Is It Really Something Christians Should Celebrate? And if so how?

History of HalloweenInformed Christians should understand the origins of Halloween as they assess their level of involvement in celebrating what is actually a “pagan” holiday.

According to Wikipedia,

Halloween is typically linked to the celtic festival of Samhain which is derived from Old Irish and means “summer’s end”. The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year.”

The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Another common practice was, divination which often involved the use of food and drink.  The name ‘Halloween’ and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era.

The Bible doesn’t speak directly about Halloween, but some biblical principles apply. One overriding principle is clear — all pagan practices should be avoided. Witchcraft, occult practices, sorcery, etc. are strictly forbidden in the Bible (Exodus 22:18; Acts 8:9-24; Acts 16, 19). It is obvious that a small child dressing up as a character to go trick or treating isn’t involving themselves directly with witchcraft but what are the boundaries that a responsible Christian parent should set up?

Parents, the decision is up to you, but do not proceed in your decision from a place of ignorance.

If you decide Halloween is something fun for your children, it is probably most important that they are kept far away from the evil aspects of Halloween. When believers participate in anything (even Halloween), their attitudes, dress, and behavior should glorify Christ.

Every year at Crossroads Church of Denver we offer a special alternative celebration for parents who are interested in allowing their children to dress up and go trick or treating in a controlled environment. This year the event we are offering is a Trunk or Treat Celebration.  The event is held in our parking lot and we encourage participants to dress up and decorate their open car trunks as a site for handing out candy to the kids. The children go from car to car collecting their treats and a great time is had by all.  The parking lot is well lit, safe and secure and participants are monitored (nothing evil or too scary allowed)!


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A Call To Give Thanks

 Thanksgiving by definition means to express gratitude towards God. Thanksgiving was central to the Jewish faith and an essential part of worship according to the Old Testament.  It was offered generally by the Jews in response to God’s concrete acts in history but sacrifice and offerings were also to be given continually out of a grateful heart.


In the Old Testament it is taught that thanksgiving should never be given grudgingly but always with a generous and willing heart. In Judeo-Christian tradition it is the duty of the faithful to express thankfulness to God for His constant love, care, provision and mercy. The praises of His people were considered the most valuable sacrifice of all, more pleasing to Him than the blood of animals.


I will  I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better       

than   than an ox or bull, which has horns and hooves.  Ps 69:30-31 (NKJV)


      The Old Testament Law called for constant and continual thanks to be offered before the Lord.  In the eras of the Jewish Tabernacle and Temple certain Levites were appointed to give continual praise and thanks to God. 


He appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the Ark by giving constant praise and thanks to the Lord God of Israel and by asking for his blessings upon his people. (1Chronicles 16:4, tlb)


In the New Testament believers are also taught that praise and thanksgiving should be a regular part of our routine


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1Thes 5:16-18 (NKJV)


It is good to make thankfulness a habitual part of our worship of God and to bless Him regularly with the expressive and spontaneous fruit of our lips.


It is good to say thank you to the Lord, to sing praises to the God who is above all gods.  Every morning tell him, “Thank you for your kindness,” and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness.  Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp and lute and lyre.  You have done so much for me, O Lord. No wonder I am glad! I sing for joy.  O Lord, what miracles you do! And how deep are your thoughts!  Psalms 92:1-5 (TLB)

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The Jewish Roots of a Thanksgiving Feast

The Pilgrim Separatists who settled at Plymouth Massachusetts and celebrated the first American Thanksgiving feast were Christians but the precedent for thanksgiving feasts traces back to the Old Testament and Judeo-Christian roots. 

The tradition of thanksgiving feasts began with the Jewish people thousands of years ago.  In the Old Testament God commanded the Jews to participate in a feast to celebrate the in-gathering of the harvest each year. 

The purpose for celebrating the feast was two fold.  First the feast day was meant to be a time of thanksgiving for all.  And second the celebration was designed to impact the children of the nation with teachable moments where truths and knowledge of significant spiritual events of Jewish history could be passed on.  The Word of God instructed the Jews about the importance of spending time with their children and teaching them to love God and His ways. 


In Deut. 6:4-9 it says,“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.


The celebration of the Feast of In-gathering or Tabernacles was very participatory in nature.  It was a week–long festival from the 15th to 21st of Tishri, which marked the completion of the whole harvest by the ingathering of the grapes. Because this was the time when everyone went out into the vineyards for their “communal working holiday” and lived in tents, it was an excellent time to remember the religious lessons of the forty years when the whole nation had lived in tents between their sojourn in Egypt and the possession of Canaan (Leviticus 23:34–36; 39–44; Deuteronomy 16:13–15).  At the end of the agricultural year in the land to which God had brought them, thanksgiving was expected to be shown and appropriately celebrated (Exodus 23:16; 34:22).   


By New Testament times the celebration of the feast of the In-gathering or Tabernacles was a spectacular ritual. Tents made of palm leaves were placed on rooftops, in courtyards, and in gardens, and people lived in them for the week.  Two priestly processions left the Temple each morning; one went to collect leafy boughs, and the other went to the Pool of Siloam. When the priests returned there was a procession round the altar (once around for the first six days of the festival and seven times on the last day — a reminder of the ritual at Jericho, Joshua 6:3–4) and a tabernacle, or booth, was made for the altar itself. The water was poured out on the Temple steps so that it would flow down and out through the Temple to the world outside, and so indicate the way that the Jewish faith would satisfy the world. During the festival four large candelabra were set up in the Court of the Women, Everyone in Jerusalem could see the light, and there was music and dancing beneath with flaming torches. The light symbolized the revelation and truth of the Jewish faith.


The Feast of In-gathering or Tabernacles was meant and designed from beginning to end to be atime of supplying teachable moments, building memories, facilitating family unity and expressing community.  The celebration involved participation by every member of the society. Males and females, the young and the old were expected to be active in the festivities.  For centuries sociologists have marveled at the fact that the Jews could keep their national identity after losing their homeland.  But it has been theorized that it was exactly the institution of such thick traditions as those involved in the celebration of thanksgiving that enabled the Jews to hold together throughout years without a land of their own.


Christians have never been required by the New Testament to recognize the Old Testament feasts. But as Christians today it is important to realize that all the previous works of God toward his people were leading to His greatest work of all on the cross.  Christians are asked by the Lord Jesus Himself to remember the cross and the celebration of Communion is in itself a thanksgiving feast complete with the reminder to do it in remembrance of Him.  A great addition to the celebration of our national Thanksgiving holiday is to celebrate Communion together as a family.  In this way we make the holiday uniquely Christian in its context and it gives us a participatory lesson which teaches our children about the central focus of the Christian faith.



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The Truth About St. Patrick’s Day

shutterstock_1053467St. Patrick’s Day historically celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who died on March 17, 461. Though originally it was Catholic holy day, St. Patrick’s Day in current times has evolved into more of a secular holiday. It has been adopted by many as ‘be Irish Day ‘ and it has become a holiday in celebration of the Irish and their colorful culture.

     Five things you probably did not know about St. Patrick and the holiday that bears his name.

     1.     St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland wasn’t even Irish.

He was actually born in Roman Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family. His father was a deacon in the  Christian church but Patrick professed no interest in Christianity as a young boy At age 16, his life was forever changed when he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to “Gaelic Ireland” to be a slave. Patrick spent his days in slavery shepherding over his master’s flocks and it was during this difficult six-year period in his life that he came to know God.  In his autobiography entitled Declaration, Patrick states that one day God gave him a vision to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. Patrick in faith obeyed and after making his way home aboard a pirate ship he was reunited with his family

     2.     St. Patrick did not actually drive the snakes out of Ireland

There are many legends that surround St. Patrick and one of the most familiar includes the claim that he banished the snakes from Ireland. While it is true that no snakes exist on the island today, they never did. Icy ocean waters—much too cold to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else, surround Ireland. Snakes are found in deserts, grasslands, forests and mountains virtually everywhere in the world. Everywhere, that is, except New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland, Antarctica and, of course, Ireland.

The myth was written about St. Patrick to give a common explanation of the “no snakes in the land” phenomenon. Snakes represent “the devil” and “evil” in the Bible and other forms of literature so when Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland, it is symbolically saying he drove the old, evil, pagan ways out of Ireland and brought in a new age.

     3.     St. Patrick’s Day as we know it was really a holiday

             “made in America”!

It was not until the 1970s that St Patrick’s Day even caught on in Ireland as a popular holiday. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was always a minor religious holiday. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal, but that was about it. It is because of this history of the holiday that it is universally realized that basically Irish-Americans re-invented St. Patrick’s Day in America and it became a highly popularized secular holiday.

Eighteenth-century Irish soldiers fighting with the British in the U.S. Revolutionary War held the first St. Patrick’s Day parades. Some soldiers, for example, marched through New York City in 1762 to reconnect with their Irish roots. Other parades followed in the years and decades after, including well-known celebrations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, primarily in flourishing Irish immigrant communities. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations became a way to honor the saint but also to confirm the Irish ethnic identity and to create bonds of solidarity with other American ethnic groups.

     4.     St. Patrick would not have approved of the holiday bearing his

     name becoming popularly celebrated by drinking and partying.

This is because of the fact that he spent the majority of his life as a priest who lived his life in “holy” consecration to God.

After St. Patrick’s conversion as a young man and his miraculous redemption from slavery, he felt the “call of God” on his life and responded by receiving priestly training in a monastery in France. After many years he received his ordination as a priest and then returned to Ireland because by his own confession he received a divine call from God to do so.

Patrick returned to Ireland with one aim to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing and converted “thousands” to the Christian faith. He was first and foremost a “holy” man and followed all the dictates of the Catholic Church to the letter.

The feast day in his honor was placed on the universal liturgical calendaar in the Catholic Church in the early 1600s and Saint Patrick’s Day then became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics throughout Ireland and the rest of the world. On Sundays and all other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass and they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder worship that is to be rendered to God. It is therefore doubtful that St. Patrick would have approved of many of the “main stays” of celebration such as the guzzling of green beer and pub hopping that has become widely associated with his holiday.

     5.     St. Patrick deserves to be recognized for his outstanding

             Christian ministry

St. Patrick was a highly adept missionary and he was very successful at winning pagan converts. It is also historically accepted that he made important converts among the royal an aristocratic families of the time. Both of these facts deeply upset the Celtic Druids who held sought to control Ireland at the time and it is known that Patrick was arrested several times. Each time however, although many times he was beaten and scourged he would manage to successfully escape with God’s help.

For 20 years he traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries schools and churches, which would in turn aid him in his goal of the conversion of the Irish people. He successfully developed a native clergy and fostered the growth of monasticism throughout Ireland. There are many Christian legends associated with St Patrick and among them it is predominantly believed that he used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity to his pagan audiences. We will never know with certainty if this is true, but it certainly fits the character of this beloved Christian man.




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One Way to Leave the Troubles of 2014 Behind Us!


As I contemplate leaving 2014, a year which has not been without trials and tribulations for me and many others,

God is challenging me to remember the words of the psalmist in Psalm 34:6,

This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

Do we have not because we ask not?  I would encourage those who have experienced a difficult 2014 to cry out to God as we enter 2015 and ask for His rescue from our current dilemmas.

Are you poor financially–cry out to God!

Are you poor in spirit–cry out to God!

Are you poor in health–cry out to God!

Are you poor relationally–cry out to God!

Whatever your area of poverty or lacking is–as you sit contemplating the end of another year–admit that deficit, grieve that trouble and cry out to God for resolution of your distress.  He promises to hear you and He is the only One who holds the power to save you from all your difficulties.

I don’t know about you but I want a 2015 that is a much easier year than the past one.  I realize that the trials of life enrich our faith and bring character but I also know that the process is not meant be arduous, crushing or devoid of hope.

We are meant to feel His abiding love carrying us and saving us from our difficulties.

It is my prayer in these waning hours of 2014–that no matter what your area of distress might be–you would be able to call out to God and lay your troubles at His feet.  And I am confident that as we humble ourselves before Our Father–that just like the psalmist–we will know He hears us, we will feel His presence and we will be assured that Our ultimate rescue is on the way.

Reach out to Him and may your 2015 be a year of greater blessing than ever before!

Happy New Year!

Maryellen Stipe

Do you relate to this simple reminder to humble ourselves and cry out to God? So many times we forget the obvious, we know God sees but we neglect to communicate with Him and share our frustration or pain.  What is your “poor man’s” prayer for rescue as you enter 2015? Don’t be shy, please comment. We would love to pray with you!


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Thanksgiving–A Simple Holiday! Thank God!

The-First-ThanksgivingThis year, on the fourth Thursday of November, like every other year for the last 200 years–most families in our nation will hold a holiday gathering.

For many it is their favorite of all the holidays and why…because quite frankly–it lacks the PRESSURE.

It requires no presents like Christmas, no costumes like Halloween, no fireworks like the fourth, no baskets like Easter and not even a card like so many other of our special days.  It is a SIMPLE holiday and it is EASY to do. to  It takes food (some really good things to eat) and football watching (whoever happens to be playing that day) and with that most inhabitant of this country call it good.

Sadly however, the majority of Americans will not spend any time doing the simple activity for which the day was originally initiated.

No guilt  intended, but how do you spend this contemporary feast day?

Do you know the specifics of the origin of Thanksgiving?

During the reign of Elizabeth I, queen of England, a sect of Puritans separated from the new Protestant Church of England and after much persecution they took refuge in the Netherlands. They finally determined that the ultimate answer to their search for a peaceful residence for their families was to immigrate to America.  On September 16, 1620, these Separatist “pilgrims” became part of a group numbering 102 men, women, and children who left Plymouth, England, for America on the Mayflower. On November 21, the Mayflower dropped anchor in the sheltered harbor off the site of present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts.

It was in this vicinity that the Puritans met up with Squanto, a Patuxet Native American. Squanto was a unique individual who had encountered Europeans as early as 1614 in what is now Massachusetts and had aided the English in their early exploration of the American continent. He learned the English language and served as a ships guide and interpreter for expeditions from Britain.  He had even survived a kidnapping at the hands of rogue Englishmen who had attempted to sell him as a slave.  Upon meeting up with the British Puritans he taught them how to catch eel and grow corn.  He also served as an interpreter for them and it is thought that without Squanto’s help none of the Puritans would have survived their first year in the New World.

As it was the first winter took a demanding toll of life on the Pilgrims and between the time of the landing in November and March of 1621, only 47 colonists survived the diseases they contracted on the ship and the adversity of the new continent.  After the first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists in 1621, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer shared by all the colonists and neighboring Native Americans.

The same Governor Bradford of Massachusetts made the first “Thanksgiving Proclamation” three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth and declared.

“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.  Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th of the year of our Lord 1623 and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock there to listen to ye pastor and render thanks giving to ye Almighty God for all His blessing.”

This proclamation instituted what would come to be the first Thanksgiving festival celebrated in the New World.  It was this early celebration of Thanksgiving by the British Puritan founders of our country that began the tradition of a November Thankgiving feast.  These historical events represent the origins of our current national holiday of Thanksgiving.

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November 15, 2014 · 8:29 am

Authenticity = Totally Undisputed Credibility; The Difference Between Character and Reputation

images-4It is fascinating to me in our contemporary culture,  how easy it can be for an individual to foist a reputation that is based on very little true substance.

Our current society feasts on the fluff of evaporating charisma while it starves for the true grit and moral fiber that is needed to shape history.   It has become simpler and simpler to manufacture a reputation with little or no personal foundation to back it up.

At every venue in society–the media, politics and even in church– bigger than life personas grab center stage with very little conscience about their ability to back up their act.  Things that used to matter, like character, authenticity of heart and a call to serve others have fallen by the wayside and are being negligently overlooked.

In short, in my opinion, character is very different than reputation.  Below, in the remainder of this post, I have put together some quotes to stimulate thinking on the subject.  Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts about the differences you observe between character and reputation.


Do You Have Character or Reputation?

Reputation is seeming; character is being.

Reputation is manufactured; character is grown.

Reputation is your photograph; character is your face.

Reputation is what men say you are; character is what God knows you are.

Reputation is what you need to get a job; character is what you need to keep it.

Reputation is what comes over you from without; character is what rises up within.

Reputation is what you have when you come to town; character is what you have when you go away.

Reputation is what is chiseled on your tombstone; character is what the angels say about you before the throne of God.

Quote by Robert Stuart MacArthur, Quick Truths in Quaint Texts

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The History of Halloween! Is It Really Something Christians Should Celebrate? And if so how?

Women at Crossroads

History of HalloweenInformed Christians should understand the origins of Halloween as they assess their level of involvement in celebrating what is actually a “pagan” holiday.

According to Wikipedia,

Halloween is typically linked to the celtic festival of Samhain which is derived from Old Irish and means “summer’s end”. The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year.”

The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to…

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Beware Fall Fall-out, Shelter Needed from Death by Watching…


As the temperatures descend and the evenings get chilly most of us move indoors.  Fall leaves fly and the center of family life changes from the backyard and the patio grill to the family room and the entertainment center.  It is a natural change but beware the subtle fall-out that fall may bring to your family nest.

Fall-out is a term that was invented in the nineteen-forties to describe a phenomenon connected to the after-math of a nuclear blast.  Fall-out is the word used for the slow descent of minute particles of toxic radio-active debris into the atmosphere. “Fall-out” expands outward from the site of an atomic explosion and becomes largely invisible, extremely poisonous and can lead to a slow-death for those who come in contact with it.  While the metaphor is admittedly a bit overstated, the sad truth is that the effects of a fall-winter-and-spring spent tied to an entertainment center, can produce its own version of a deadly fall-out—a deadly fall-out that leads to what can only be termed “life-decay.”

Today the number one form of leisure activity in the United States is T.V. watching.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation “American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television more than any other single activity other than sleeping.  By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching T.V.”  Former president George Bush on C-SPAN in an interview about American T.V. consumption stated, “They put an off button on the T.V. for a reason.  Turn it off…I don’t watch much T.V.  His wife Laura Bush an ex-librarian and reading advocate categorically stated, “Children cannot learn to read by watching television.  Television is just background noise and a distraction.”  Prominent voices seem to agree that too much T.V. watching is not a good thing.  

If the inordinate amount of wasted time spent by children and others watching were not enough there are other deleterious effects linked with excess T.V.  It should be pointed out that—for every hour spent in front of the tube—over fifteen minutes of that hour is spent solely in the viewing of advertising.  Commercials are the centerpiece of programming and are meant to penetrate our minds with thoughts of consumption, need and greed.  Jerry Mander, an expert on media and its effects on society explains, “While watching television, the viewer is not seeing the world as it is.  He or she is looking at a world created by advertising.  Television programs are put together with the conscious attitude of promoting a consumer society.  The fall-out of television advertising overload is a spirit-poisoning, self indulgent attitude that subtly begins to creep in and controls us.  The consequence for our society is an ever-expanding consumerism that keeps us all knowing exactly what we must obtain next if we are to be truly happy.

Consumerism isn’t the only kind of harmful fallout American families who are glued to the tube are susceptible to.  The harmful fallout from T.V. watching is not limited to the effects of overdosing on advertising.  In 2014, the number one type of T.V. programming was “Reality T.V.” a popular style of programming with its own set of dangers.  “Reality T.V.” is that genre of T.V. that has no real story, no content, it is just watching someone else experiencing some part of life while you sit back and voyeuristically observe.

Millions of people each night settle for living life vicariously through others while life passes them by.  They watch the loves, the losses, the adventures, the successes, of strangers on the small screen while experiencing little “true living” themselves.  Reality T.V. is a type of video entertainment fraught with serious fallout. We are on the verge of becoming a nation who “loves to watch” above all else.  We put on hold our emotional, our physical and our spiritual interactions—in order to spend hours watching—and the result is a numbing slow death to what it means to be human beings created in the image of God with a plan and a purpose.

This fall as you move indoors consider the invisible fall fall-out your family becomes vulnerable to as you face off with the entertainment center once again.  Pay attention to how much time you spend in front of screens—inactive and focused on “synthetic life” with its demands and absorptions.  As the leaves fall why not consider turning over a new leaf and make each hour of each day more productive and full of living and giving.  You may need to schedule some alternative activities to fill the vacuum left by fewer hours in front of the T.V.  Why not take a walk and talk to God, prepare a home cooked meal with the family and catch up on small talk, attend a small group fellowship with friends, go for a Starbuck’s with your spouse and have some “couples time”, or get creative and start that home improvement project you’ve been putting off.  Experience LIFE that’s what living is all about!

Contemplate the reality that we are all God’s workmanship created for a life time of living out good works that He has planned for us (see Eph. 2:10).  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to miss out on the abundant life God planned for me because I fell numb under the effects of video fall-out, a life-decaying—death—by watching.



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There Are Only A Few Tickets Left for the Annual Women’s Christmas Tea at Crossroads

Front+Door+Decorated+with+Garland“A Christmas Homecoming” is the theme of our Annual Women’s Christmas Tea and Holiday Celebration.

This event is the highlight of our year in Women’s ministry and in 2013 it is happening the first two Saturday’s in December, the seventh and the fourteenth. The Teas begin at 12:30 P.M. and last approximately 2 and a half hours.

What can you expect…

The Christmas celebration starts the minute you step through the doors of the auditorium and enter a room transformed into holiday splendor. Our time together begins with sharing a traditional English Tea but the celebration does not stop there. After a festive time of conversation and fellowship your holiday festivities will be finished off with a program meant to stir the Christmas spirit in young and old.

Brenda Harp

Brenda Harp

This year our program features Contemporary Christian recording artist Brenda Harp and the many talented vocalists of the Crossroads Worship Team. Attendees can expect a musical feast that will put them in the mood for Christmas celebration and send them out ready to communicate the reason for the season.

This event is more than just an holiday show it is a presentation marked with inspiration and true Christian celebration.

Come rejoice with us as we come together, remembering our Savior’s birth! Tickets are reserved seating only for 20.00 per person.  There are some seats still available as of November 16th, but they are selling quickly. Tickets can be purchased at the Crossroads Admin building (Tues. through Fri.) and at all services in the Main Lobby!

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