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!

PFC THEODORE GROENEVELD

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
HOMETOWN: TINLEY PARK, IL

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

STRANGE REACTIONS…

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!

FRUSTRATION!!!

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?

HAVE YOU BEEN LIVNG ON THE MOON?

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;

YOU ARE UNINFORMED.

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

there is…

NO TURNING BACK.

Social networking is the BIGGEST thing on the internet.

It is BIGGER than porn!

And BIGGER than on-line shopping!

IT REPRESENTS A MONUMENTAL SHIFT

IN COMMUNICATION STYLE!

IT REPRESENTS PERHAPS THE BIGGEST SHIFT

IN THE STYLE OF COMMUNICATION IN HISTORY!!!

Please educate yourselves and watch the following video!

Please save me the awkward chore of insulting you!

THIS IS WHY I FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!!!








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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.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

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!

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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…

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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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The U.C. in O.C. my Alma Mater

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Superbowl Memories

I know where I was on Super Bowl Sunday 1988, I was at Lutheran Hospital, Wheat Ridge, Colorado in the Maternity Ward

What was I doing, resting up after delivering a healthy baby boy.

Brett Thomas Stipe had been born to Rev. and Mrs. Thomas R. Stipe and we were enjoying “Superbowl Fever” in the maternity ward as our beloved Denver Broncos took on the Washington Redskins.

We had faithfully served as chaplain and wife for the 1987 Bronco season and were overjoyed as our beloved Denver Broncos entered their second Superbowl bid.  We had been to the Superbowl the year before and endured the loss to the New York Giants at the Rose Bowl and we had high hopes that it would all end differently in 1988.

Unfortunately, we were not to be rewarded–by half-time our hopes were diminishing and by the fourth quarter–all fans had evacuated my hospital room.  Alas Superbowl 22 was not to be Elway’s day.

But on the other hand–Tom and I had reason to rejoice–our one and only son–had been born, what an incredible blessing God had bestowed upon us!

Thomas is today a photojournalism and videography major at Metro State University in Denver, he plays bass and is gifted like his father with a keen ability to articulate before audiences.  He makes us proud every day of his life.   Happy 24th Birthday Thomas!

I love you, Mom

Meanwhile…Memories of Superbowl 1988 from http://www.football.com/nfl/superbowl/XXII.html

Washington Redskins vs. Denver Broncos

Date: January 31, 1988

Host City: San Diego, CA Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium

National Anthem: Herb Alpert

Halftime Entertainment: Chubby Checker and The Rockettes

Final Score: Washington-42 Denver-10

Denver’s second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl would be marred with similar results. Ultimately, they would chalk up another L in the Super Bowl column, in a game they came into as the favorite. John Elway and the Broncos jumped out to an early 10-0 1st quarter lead, yet were countered in the 2nd quarter in a record setting way. Doug Williams would rewrite the history books beginning the in the second quarter. Beyond the social avenue he opened being the first African American QB to play in a Super Bowl, he would become the first QB to throw for 4 TDs in a single quarter as well as a half. The Redskins defense was electrified by the offensive production, and were able to contain Elway for the final 3 quarters. Williams would go on to win the MVP award, throwing for a total of 340 yards and 4 TDs.

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Turn your kid’s used clothes & gear into extra $$$ and take the opportunity to help kids with Down Syndrome

Avery Park Children’s Consignment Event
Avery Park Children’s Consignment Sale is a 3-day event that takes place twice a year in the Spring and Fall.

We partner with local families that want to sell their children’s brand name high-quality items for a better return than a             garage sale or consignment shop. All of our items are in “excellent” condition, yet sell at a great discount, making it a shopping opportunity not to miss.

An extra incentive to participate in this sale is that a percentage of every purchase goes to The Research Center for Down Syndrome at Stanford University School of Medicine.

In 2007, the Stipe family was gifted with the addition to our family of our beautiful Avery Grace. She is a wonderful, talented and perceptive four year old girl who just happens to have Down Syndrome. This sale is named for Avery and is meant to be a vehicle for mom’s to recycle their near new children’s clothes and gear with the hope of making extra cash in these economically strapped times. Avery’s parents face extra financial responsibility because of Avery’s disability and know that many families face similar kinds of challenges; as a result Jennifer Stipe Mouttet decided in 2011 to spear head these annual sales as a source of relief to many young families.

The first of these sales will be held the weekend of September 16, 17 & 18 at Crossroads Church of Denver, in the Learning Center Gym.

Why Should I Consign?
If you are a mom, grandparent or caregiver you know how much money you spend on your children. They grow out of clothing, toys and gear so quickly, just to find it cluttering up your home. Have you ever tried selling your kid’s items at a garage sale only to “give away” your child’s seldom-worn clothes? Why not go through all of the things that your children no longer need, prepare them, enter and tag them using our automated website, drop them off, and let us do the rest.

As a consignor, you will:
~Earn 70% of your sales. If you refer 5 new consigners, earn 75%
~Pay a one time consigner fee of $10
~Shop before the public at our pre-sale event
~Relax at home while we do all the work
~Receive a check 7-10 days after the sale ends

Why Should I Volunteer?
Volunteers who work one 3 hour shift will:
Earn 70% of their total sales.
Shop before the public at the volunteer pre-sale Thurs. from 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Volunteers who work two 3 hour shifts will:
Earn 75% of their total sales.
Be the FIRST to shop before the public at the volunteer exclusive pre-sale Weds. Sept . 14th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm (pass is for one person + spouse or grandparent)

Sellers love our events because they can sell their children’s items without the hassle of having a garage sale or using Craigslist. Shoppers love our events because they get one-stop shopping for all of their children’s needs. Volunteers love our events because they get to shop first!

For more information on this event go to http://averypark.co/

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There’s Still Time to Join Us in Vail for the Crossroad’s Women’s Retreat!

The aspens are turning and October is the perfect time to visit Vail Colorado! And you couldn’t find a better place to stay than the famous Vail Cascade Resort!

What is holding you back, you could be joining us on a once in a life time life-changing Retreat!

There are only a few more days to register so don’t delay, September 14th is the deadline for registration (we need a deposit by then) and September 30th is the deadline for final payment!

We want to see you there! — The Women at Crossroads

Just scroll down to get all the wonderful details!

Entrance to the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa

Come join us for “Living Beyond…living a passionate life for Christ in an apathetic world” on Oct. 15,16 & 17 at the Vail Cascade Resort in Vail CO.

Maryellen Stipe and the leadership of the Women at Crossroads will be the speakers for this years life-changing event and the worship leader for the weekend will be the gifted Molly Hall with Special music by the dynamic Angela White.

A sampling of some of the growing list of special session and workshop teachers featured during the weekend:

Kristen Crewell

Connie Baca

Judy Crewell

Angela White

Molly Hall

Dee Castleman

For more details and online registration click on the Main Crossroads website at the link listed in the sidebar.

Rates start at just $159 for the weekend and this price includes meals!


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Beth Moore Simulcast coming to Crossroads on September 10th!

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Our Annual Women’s Christmas Tea and Holiday Celebration is Just Around the Corner!

“Simply Christmas” 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 2010 it  is happening the first two Saturday’s in December, the fourth and the eleventh.  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.

This year our program features Kory Brunson 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 17.50 per person and are available now, at the Crossroads Admin building, at all services and online!

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Wisdom for Protecting Your Children from Child Predators

On October 2nd at 9:30 our Mother’s of Preschoolers group at Crossroads is presenting a program designed to protect your children from child predators. Jon Holsten a police sergeant and former child sex crimes investigator from Fort Collins, Colorado will be addressing parents, grandparents and other interested adults about how they can safe guard their kids.

I strongly believe that precaution and preparation are needed if parents are to be able to adequately protect their children in our current society.

Precaution, Preparation and Prayer: Wisdom for Safeguarding Your Family

By Maryellen Stipe

Our vulnerability to threats to our safety and the safety of our loved ones is increasingly on our minds these days. In a society plagued by child abductions, sexual abuse and the exploitation of children via the porn industry parents are being forced to deal with many ugly realities as they raise kids. Foreseeing and preparing for encounters with potentially dangerous situations has become a necessary part of  educating children.

“Stranger danger” used to be the common phrase used when referring to the topic of teaching children about threats to their safety. But now teaching our children about mere “stranger danger” has proven incredibly anemic. The proportions of possible risks to our children have been expanded before our very eyes, and research has uncovered that in regard to sexual abuse of children those who commit such acts tend to NOT be strangers at all.  Now we know that in approximately 90% of the cases of child sexual abuse the abuser is part of the known social network of the child.

Such realities rock our sensibilities and tend to cause us to overreact. But the truth is–no matter how heinous the dangers–the single most important thing we can do to protect our children is to-instill confidence rather than fear.

You want to equip your children with the strategies that they will need to protect themselves.

You want to let them know that they are not alone, and that resources for protection are always near.

And you want your boy or girl to think clearly and resourcefully and respond quickly if he or she gets into a situation where they are in jeopardy.

As a part of their protection our kids should know that the God of Heaven is always on their side and that He opposes evil. But they should also be aware that there is a network of trustworthy adults such as policemen, security guards, fire and rescue personnel, teachers and others to whom they can always turn for support and aid.

God is ultimately the victor over evil but it is also undeniable we are in a violent conflict of good and evil where there can be casualties. Scripture communicates a balance between God’s protection of us and our vulnerability to evil.  The Bible tells us to pray and ask God for protection but at the same time to be aware of and alert to the schemes of the Evil One.

Scripture admonishes us, Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5:7-9 (NLT)

When protecting your children, the first step should be to empower your children while taking care not to intimidate them or overly scare them with the evil nature of this world.

You should furnish them with the attitude of an over comer, a survivor and be careful to avoid promoting a victim mentality. Let your kids know that they are valued by you and by God and that they have a will and a voice. No matter how young they are they can reach out for help in time of trouble.

You should also become knowledgeable yourself about safety strategies and procedures. This is important so that you can in turn, move and proactively educate your children giving them the tools they need to keep themselves safe.  Up-to-date classes and seminars such as “Protecting Your Child from Predators, The Swimsuit Lesson” by Jon Holsten and others address the threats to the safety of children and can be attended in most communities. There are also multiple websites dedicated to the safety of families and especially children.

We teach our children a myriad of safety rules when they are young, but talking with them about things such as violent intruders, terrorism, child abduction or sexual abuse can elude us.

These are difficult topics indeed and most are just not prepared to breech such subjects.  As a Christian community however we can no longer afford to bury our head in the sand and deny what is going on around us.  Planning on how we will deal with the mounting level of evil that surrounds us is called for, and educating our children about how to be safe is vital.  The apostle Paul warned the believers in Corinth that were part of a very corrupt first century society. Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 1 Cor 16:13 (NLT)

A final and overarching measure that must be taken by all of us on a daily basis is to pray diligently for the protection of our families.  We can make all kinds of plans for our own protection and the welfare of our household but the Bible is succinct in giving us the bottom line: Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalms 127:1 (NKJV).  We should implore the Lord’s help in protecting our households and always know that He is our first and last line of defense.

David, the boy who slew Goliath, the man who ran for years dodging the attacks of Saul knew first hand the ability of the Divine to protect.  In Psalm 91, he declares, Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty…He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him Psalms 91:1-4 (NLT).  David states here a principle that should be realized in the life of every believer: it is the person who lives close to the Lord in relationship who can count on the awareness of His protecting presence.  If you constantly abide close to the Lord you will find rest knowing that He is always nearby watching over the concerns of your life.

Believers who stay close to God learn that they can trust Him implicitly and as their faith grows they come to know that whatever befalls them, He will always be with them in the midst of it.  As Jesus left this earth to join His Father in Heaven, He encouraged His disciples with words that should equally encourage us today, Lo I will be with you always even until the end of the age. Even when dangers loom on every front nothing can separate us from the loving presence of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and in this fact we can take heart.  Our trust in Him should drive away the fears and anxieties of this world, in the words of the apostle Paul, And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us …from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

Please come out and join the parents and grandparents of our church as we seek to be educated about how we as a community can better safe-guard our children.

As a life-long child protection advocate, Jon Holsten is an internationally recognized speaker and children’s book author. Jon has investigated and helped successfully prosecute dozens of child sexual abuse cases. His experiences on the front lines of law enforcement led Jon to seek new ways to protect children from predators. His research and passion led him to create the wildly popular children’s book: The Swimsuit Lesson. Through his writing and speaking, Jon demonstrates his passion for helping parents protect their children from predators.

This event is for moms, dads and all interested parties.

NOTE: If you need child care you will need to preregister for this event.

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Two New Fall Classes for Women

On September 21st at 6:30 P.M. the Women at Crossroads will be beginning a new soul care for women class utilizing the Beth Moore DVD series Breaking Free.

Breaking Free is an in-depth study of freedom in Christ, which draws heavily on themes from the OT book of Isaiah. Members will explore what factors keep believers from living and enjoying the benefits of abundant life in Christ. Participants will be challenged to develop not “just knowledge” about what freedom can look like but an actual lifestyle of living free. The first hour of the course will be a DVD teaching session by the renown Bible teacher Beth Moore.

Beth was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and “Breaking Free is Beth Moore’s life message about the transforming power of Christian freedom.  In addition to attending the lecture part of the course participants will also be REQUIRED to attend the group experience that is scheduled to follow each teaching session. A workbook will be supplied to each participant and students will be expected to complete homework assignments. The course is ten weeks in length.

For freedom Christ set us free. No longer be entangled in a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

The small groups that are such and essential part of this soul care experience will be led by Maryellen Stipe, Linda Hanson and a staff of trained female clinicians from the Care Center at Crossroads.

On September 23rd at 6:30 P.M. and September 24th at 9:30 A.M. our new fall Bible Study will begin and will be an expositional look at the book of Titus.

The instructor for this course will be Maryellen Stipe.

Titus is a surprising little book that is full of practical wisdom. If you’ve ever been troubled by people who profess Christ and yet live very differently than you, Titus will be an eye-opener. If you have ever wondered if there is any hope for our mixed-up confused society, Titus well help you find the answer. If you want to lean how to take your Christianity more seriously and affect others in the church to do the same, then Titus is the book for you. Come out to this six week study that is bound to bless your socks off!

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Where Were You in the Seventies??? …My Jesus People Memories and Why Jesus People Reunions Rock On!

Tom and Maryellen Stipe during the Jesus Movement

When most people search back through the annals of their memories and remember the life changing passages in their lives they often think back to high school or college.

They remember the schools they attended, the relationships they had there, and the music that played in the background.

But when I think back on my life molding times—I am different.

I’m different because it was not the hallowed halls of an educational institution that profoundly shaped me. I am not without an educational alma-mater but the influence that sent me on my life course did not come from there.

What profoundly formed my life was a spiritual time—a special period of “God history.” And the spiritual environment, the spiritual experiences and the relationships that I tasted then are the elements that make up the indelible imprints of my young adulthood.

I consider myself fortunate to be one of “thousands” of so-called “Jesus freaks”– individuals whose teens and twenties were dominated by no less than Jesus himself. We are an unusual bunch, who when thinking of “where were you in the seventies?” don’t think of a school or a stadium, or even a war, but instead think of three words—The Jesus Movement.

The Jesus Movement was a culture unto itself—a counter-culture expression contrasting a youthful society gone mad. By the grace of God, at a time when evil raised up a banner extolling free sex, drugs and eastern mysticism, the Almighty raised up a standard of His own. To a generation looking for love in all the wrong places God lifted up his Son and His Divine love and thousands including me flocked to Him.

There was never a time before or has there ever been a time since when God moved so dramatically on young people. It was “revival” –and a spiritual Wind moved across a generation whisking tens of thousands into its influence. My life was dramatically changed by that Wind and my choice for a mate, my calling, and my lifestyle were cast in its wake.  I chose to follow Jesus and I have never looked back.

As a result, the story of my youth will never be encapsulated in a yearbook. Instead, the saga of my young years is tied to a dynamic people—the Jesus People—and their culture.

Yes, we had our own culture. We had our own brand of religion, with its own liturgy and a new spiritual jargon. We had our own dress; our own music and we even had our own folk heroes.

It was the music, which was a new type of sacred song that was the most defining element of our “spiritual culture.” And the music was pioneered by an elite group of young minstrels. The band that was at the epicenter of the musical awakening taking place was a group of redeemed “rockers” called Love Song.

The young guys who made up Love Song were unlikely “Levites.” They were not the beneficiaries of a long religious heritage, like the worship leaders of old; instead God drafted them off the street.  They came out of the “hippie” culture they were called to juxtaposition and God gave them inspired songs for the spiritual climate he was creating. They became the “pied pipers” of the movement, calling young participants to follow The Master.

Tom Stipe preaching in "Tent" at Calvary Chapel during the Jesus Movement

As I said, we also had our own folk heroes, these were teens that God raised up from amongst us to take the forefront leading the new sacred gatherings we were initiating. Jesus music concerts were one of the staples of the spiritual life of the Jesus People and they were almost always punctuated by the messages of young evangelists.  I married one of these evangelists/folk heroes and nearly forty years later we are still making disciples.

I never went to one of my high school or college reunions, but through the years I have attended several “Jesus People Reunions.”  These events are extremely popular because they help true “Jesus People” to remember the happenings that for most of us eclipsed everything else in our young lives. We have a chance at these gatherings to sing the old songs, to raise our hands in the same holy ways and to consider once again the spiritual truths that have always been so important.

These reunions, while misunderstood by many, are immensely clear in their importance to those who actually lived through the Jesus Movement. They are meaningful and bring to our remembrance the sacred times that carved out our personalities and determined our futures. At these events we have an opportunity to savor the spiritual essence of a time gone by while we worship the Savior who’s always the same and who we will always love!

On September 15th at 6:30, Crossroads Church of Denver will host the Love Song Reunion Tour with Chuck Smith; also on hand will be hundreds of Jesus People who actually lived through that incredible time in history. I will be there with my husband Tom Stipe. Tom and I moved to Denver in 1976 to plant a Jesus Movement type church in Colorado. We were on staff with Chuck Smith from 1970 until 1976 and during that time Tom was the staff evangelist in charge of the Saturday Night Maranatha Concerts.

We invite you to come and join us for what we are sure will be a life-changing concert with Love Song and Chuck Smith. If you are a Christian who dates back to the Jesus Movement days please come ready to be part of a heart warming reunion and if you are one who wants to just come and check out what you have heard about this incredible band please feel welcomed. I am sure no one will go away without experiencing a blessing and a dose of God’s love. God’s love in abundance was one of the hallmarks of the Jesus Movement and it’s the same yesterday, today and forever!

For a taste of the time, I’ve included the following excerpt from an article from a local newspaper of the period. This posting is a part of just one of the many articles that I have collected that reported on the spiritual happenings in the tent that Calvary Chapel called home during the Jesus Movement. This particular piece is one of my favorites because it captures the preaching of my husband Tom Stipe.

Sunday March 31, 1974 Long Beach Independent, Press-Telegram (from article “Jesus on Campus”)

Tom Stipe, the folk hero of Calvary Chapel comes on after the large, youthful congregation has warmed up with an hour of moving ballads interspersed with deep-bass, hand-clapping Jesus rock from the musicians of Love Song, one of the chapel’s nationally known rock groups. He’s wearing faded jeans, a blue work shirt and tousled, shoulder length hair. Stipe is a showman, but he mocks his own showmanship, dropping into a Southern preacher drawl that delights the teenagers.

“Now when ah got saved, ah wasn’t falling into the depths,” he drawls. “Ah was into the whole party thing in pursuit of fun—you know the kinda guy who is driving around at three in the morning to see it anybody is still awake…” Laughter rocks the light-flooded chapel.  It’s Saturday night and it’s the biggest Jesus show around. For local high school and college students, it’s the Southland’s religious mecca.  They come driving down to South Santa Ana from as far as the San Fernando Valley and San Diego.

“Now, everybody thinks they can get more from Pier One in Newport Beach than from Jesus Christ,” Stipe preaches. “They think they can get more action on Long Beach Boulevard or Pacific Coast Highway than from the Lord…Before I got saved I always thought that if you became a Christian, you’d become like a stone, You know,” he says, dropping into a deep, moronic voice. “duh I am a Christian.” And people would just roll you around. (Roars of laughter). Well let me tell you what it’s really like…”

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Crossroads Women’s Retreat 2010 at Vail Colorado

When you think of wild…lions and tigers and bears might come to mind but that is not the only definition of the word.

Wild can also mean…

  • Going beyond normal or conventional bounds
  • Extravagant
  • Not subject to restraint
  • Passionately enthusiastic
  • Strong desire or emotion
  • A free or natural state of existence
  • Out of control
  • Living in a life or existence that is not tame.

God calls us to a different kind of wild, a life without restraints of human understanding but rather a life alive to faith in the mighty power of God.

We have been released and unleashed by our faith in Jesus Christ to live an extraordinary existence…a different kind of wild.

The Apostle Paul writes,

If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Cor 5:13-15 (NIV)

Come join us for Released and Unleashed—A Different Kind of Wild, on Oct. 15,16 & 17 at the Vail Cascade Resort in Vail CO.

Maryellen Stipe and the leadership of the Women at Crossroads will be the speakers for this years life-changing event and the worship leader for the weekend will be the talented Angela White.

A sampling of some of the growing list of workshops topics and teachers featured during the weekend:

Kristen Crewell: “Single and Unleashed”

Amy Cabrerra: “Newly Married and Going Wild”

Jessica Wade: “Released from Past Hurts”

Connie Baca: “Our Wild God”

For more details and online registration click on the Main Crossroads website at the link listed in the sidebar.

Rates start at just $149 for the weekend and this price includes three meals!



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Living Proof Simulcast With Beth Moore

Come join us on September 18th for a life-changing time of teaching with Beth Moore.

You will need to be there by 10:00 A.M. as you won’t want to miss a minute of Beth’s dynamic simulcast!

Ticket are on sale now–and can be purchased in group blocks for great savings!

10 ticket for $100 ($10 each) or 5 tickets for $60 ($12 each)

Single ticket are also available for $15 each.

Right now it is reserved seating only–so get your seat secured ASAP!

All those who participate in the early bird specials will also receive a full color program and notes for the simulcast!

Tickets can be purchased online at the main Crossroads website, at the church at the Admin building during the week (9-5) except Mondays, and before and after church services on Wednesdays and Sundays. Tickets will also be available at all Women’s Ministry Events!

See you there,

Maryellen Stipe

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Quote for Today: Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit

Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon was born, June 19, 1834 and died, January 31, 1892. He was a Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations today and he is still widely known as the “Prince of Preachers.”

I am a fan of Spurgeon and my favorite quote by him has to do with the decline of the church and the need for Holy Spirit revival.

The need for Holy Spirit empowerment of the church is very much on my heart today!

This morning as I was praying and studying, I remembered this quote and it moved me once again to pray, repent and seek a deeper walk with my Lord. Because of the effect that these lines had on me I thought it appropriate to post it here.

My hope would be that the truth embodied by Spurgeon’s words  would touch someone else and serve to motivate them as I was motivated. May this saying move your heart like it moved mine!

“I believe brethren, that whenever the church of God declines, one of the most effectual ways of reviving her is to preach much truth about the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit be withdrawn, then the vitality of the godliness begins to decline and we are backbiting.  Let us turn to the Spirit of God crying, “Quicken thou me in thy ways.” If we sorrowfully perceive that any church is growing lukewarm, be it our prayer that the Holy Spirit may work graciously for its revival, Let us return to the Lord.  Let us seek again to be baptized into the Holy Spirit and into fire, and we shall yet, again behold the wonderful works of the Lord.” — C.H. Spurgeon

My husband is preaching today, in California on this very subject–the necessity of receiving Holy Spirit empowerment for the church.

Please pray that our churches would not decline and move into backbiting…but instead that they would return to the Lord and seek again to be baptized into the Holy Spirit and fire.

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Minstrels in the Marketplace

Kory Brunson on the Jumbo-tron at Coors Field

I love it when God gives Christian musicians visibility in the secular arena.

It makes me happy when “believers” get the chance to use their talents in places outside of church walls.

It is the way Jesus and Paul and others in the Scriptures practiced their religion–they went to the marketplace and engaged as many people as they possibly could.

Last weekend, our worship leader Kory Brunson, had the rare opportunity to sing before a full stadium at Coors Field, here in Denver, Colorado.

The song he was asked to perform was one of his own, and is a tribute to those in military service.

“We Know Your Out There” was written by Kory to honor the troops and “Thank God” for those who have chosen to put on a uniform and serve the U.S.A.

Ever since I heard about what Kory was able to do–I have been smiling inside.

I have been rejoicing, because he was able, to address–that crowd of over 40,000 people–and engage them with a song and a message that gives thanks and encourages hope in God.

I wanted to post this picture of Kory singing because I believe, that his boldness–to stand up as a Christian in the marketplace and thank God for those who serve this country–is to be ADMIRED.

I pray that more Christians would have the chance to stand tall in public places and give testimony of their faith.

And I pray for us, as believers, that when the opportunity to proclaim our beliefs comes our way–that we would not shrink back in fear.

I pray for all of us, that–when given the chance–we would have the courage to step forward and confidently declare our values–just as Kory did.

BRAVO KORY!

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Memorial Day is for Remembering

Memorial Day is for remembering…and every year as our nation observes this day, I pause and remember the expensive price that was paid for our freedom.

And like so many others I reflect on the very personal price that it cost my family.

I was first made aware, as a small child, of the reality that liberty does not come cheap.  When I was born my family was still acutely feeling the effects of losing one of their own on a field of battle.  As a  child I vividly remember my grandmother’s grief over the loss of her son.

My Uncle Ted was an MIA in the Korean War and was not found for 17 long months.

He was finally located on a lonely Korean beach where he had been hastily interred. His family was told that my Uncle Ted was killed during a beach assault while rushing off a troop carrier. He was 20 years 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, but for those who lost loved ones there, it was three years too long!

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

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

The Battle of the Pusan Perimeter which lasted from August 4, 1950-September 16, 1950, was won at the price of 3,603 American lives. It was very early in the war but this battle would prove to be the most costly in terms of casualties and my Uncle was one of those killed in action.

My father and my other uncle, Joe, also served in the Korean war.

And in fact, I was born while my father was away serving in the U.S. Navy many thousand of miles away from home.

I honor the fighting men of our nation who gave their last full measure of devotion for our freedom. I also honor those who gave valuable years of their young lives in service to our country!

THANK YOU for your sacrifices!

THANK YOU UNCLE TED!…

PFC THEODORE GROENEVELD

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
HOMETOWN: TINLEY PARK, IL

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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Be A Woman of Destiny: Anointed, Transformed and Redeemed

New Women at Crossroads Bible Study begins May 27th at 6:30 PM and May 28th at 9:30 AM in the Multi-Purpose Room.  Bring a friend and come join us for a six week DVD study featuring three of the most dynamic female teachers in the world today. Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Aurthur will teach us how to be Women of Destiny: Anointed, Transformed and Redeemed!!!

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We Need A “Community” In Order To Really Know God

The pub where Lewis and his friends experienced "community.

My husband, Tom and I have been discussing an amazing quote used by Tim Keller in his book “The Prodigal God.” It comes from C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves.

For context, it’s important to point out that Lewis is referring to community within the Inklings, a small group of men who met weekly for almost 20 years. Lewis’s closest friends seemed to be in this group, and Charles and Ronald were both members. “Ronald” is J.R. R. Tolkien and “Charles” is Charles Williams.

“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity…Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to a specifically *Caroline joke (see below). Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald…we possess each friend not less but more as the number of those with whom we share him increases.

In this, Friendship exhibits a glorious ‘nearness by resemblance’ to Heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each has of God. For every soul, seeing Him in her own way, doubtless communicates that unique vision to all the rest. That, says an old author, is why the Seraphim in Isaiah’s vision are crying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ to one another. The more we thus share the Heavenly Bread between us, the more we shall all have.”

*”Caroline” is an adjective which comes from the Latin for Charles, which is (I believe) Carolus. So a “Caroline” joke would be a “Charles-y” joke – in other words, a joke of the type Charles told.

Another interesting tid-bit gleaned from the blog world, Tolkien never liked Charles Williams and wondered what Lewis saw in him. He also was a bit jealous of Lewis splitting his affections between him and Williams. So we may wonder to what degree he would have endorsed this paragraph from Lewis!

What are your reactions to this quote and the importance of community that it underscores?

Other posts you might like: A Vision For A Church God Can Grow https://womenatcrossroads.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/vision-2009-%E2%80%93-a-vision-for-a-church-god-can-grow/

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