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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

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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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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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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The U.C. in O.C. my Alma Mater

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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.


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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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It’s Tough Being A Woman

On May 8th, at 11:30 A.M, The Women at Crossroads will be hosting our annual spring luncheon and program.

This year’s theme will be “It’s Tough Being a Woman” and the program will spotlight the many challenges involved in being a woman in our current society.

Through music, drama, and speaking attendees will be uplifted by a lighthearted and inspirational program designed for all ages.

Our agenda for the day will be to underline the important truth that: although it’s tough being a woman, in Christ we can live exceptional lives!

We are enabled to be beautiful, balanced and brave while just being who He made us to be!

The program will feature, Angela White as our special guest musician and she will be joined on stage by the Crossroads Band.

The seating is reserved seating only and the tickets are on sale online at the main Crossroads website and at the Women’s Ministry Counter located in the lobby of the Crossroads Main Building.  The tickets are $17.5o each and the price includes a catered lunch.

The event will begin at 11:30 A.M with luncheon being served and the program following.  The event will conclude by approximately 2:00 P.M.  Get your tickets now.


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As Good As It Gets–A Message To Baby Boom Christians By Tom Stipe

“We have lived life for better or for worse and are pausing to grade our progress like approaching the end of a semester“… with these words Tom Stipe (you know the guy I’m married to…) gives expression to the current mental plight of many Baby Boom Christians.

His recent article called “As Good As It Gets” describes the things Tom sees affecting Baby Boom Christians in the Church today.  It is very thought provoking and interesting, and in my opinion definitely worth a read!

Click the link at the bottom of this excerpt to read it in it’s entirety or continue to peruse it here.

“We have lived life for better or for worse and are pausing to grade our progress like approaching the end of a semester. It is more than a little threatening. The finish line is in sight and the race has nearly been run.  Now it seems that the only thing left is the inevitable looming question, “How did we do”?

In the 1997 movie, “As Good As It Gets” starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, there is a memorable scene in which Nicholson’s character reinforces the film’s title. Leaving his psychiatrists office, Melvin Udall (Nicholson) passes through a waiting area filled with sullen, self-absorbed patients; then he pauses and asks, “What if this is as good as it gets?” It is a question that he leaves hanging in the air with no obvious answer as he leaves.

What about us? What if this is it? Jesus hasn’t returned yet, although things are looking pretty good for that these days. Life goes on. The future that was ahead of us has arrived. The married life we dreamed of has come and–in some cases–gone…”

Catch this entire “Message To Baby Boom Christians” by Tom Stipe at

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Phil Wickham A Second Generation Jesus Musician Takes Center Stage

It is no secret that my husband Tom Stipe and I are a couple of aging “Jesus People.”  We were born and raised in Southern California and the roots of our Christian experience trace back to a revival time in the early seventies known as the “Jesus Movement.” Those years were exciting times for youthful followers of Christ and they also have proved to be the days when Contemporary Christian Music was born and began taking its first shaky baby steps.  The first “Rock” generation Christian musicians began to take the platforms of American churches during those years (approx. 1969-1976) and it was in many ways ground that was not easily taken.

By God’s blessing Tom (a musician himself) became the staff evangelist at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa  and the preacher at ground breaking regional Christian Music events known as The Saturday Night Concerts.  Weekly thousands of young people would fill a tent pitched as Calvary Chapel’s temporary facility to hear a growing family of Christian musicians and bands evangelize crowds with the music of the Jesus People. It was during these grass roots times of Contemporary Christian Music that Tom and I became acquainted with many young Christian artists and amongst them were a young couple named John and Lisa Wickham.  John and Lisa were among the pioneering contemporary Christian musicians on the then fledgling Maranatha Music label, where Tom served as a staff producer.  John was part of the band known as “The Way” and Lisa a part of the group “Parable”.

Well, fast forward nearly forty years and that’s where you meet up with Phil Wickham.  Phil is the son of John and Lisa Wickham and has taken the Christian music legacy of his two parents on to new heights.  Phil is a ground breaking Christian musician in his own right.  He has had numerous top-ten Contemporary Christian hits and his song “Safe” is currently at number five on the Billboard Charts for Christian Music.

With all this said, Tom and I are excitedly awaiting Phil’s up-coming concert at Crossroads Church of Denver on April 13th, 2010.  While it makes us feel incredibly old it also warms our hearts to welcome the children of our “Jesus People” friends to our platform. Phil is among an elite group of second generation Contemporary Christian Music artists and personnel who are currently gracing the stages of Christian venues and churches throughout America.  Other Christian artists whose parents were a part of the “golden” age of Contemporary Christian Music are:

Chad Butler from Switchfoot whose Dad Chuck Butler was in “Country Faith” and “Parable.”

Alisa Girard Childers from Zoe Girls whose Dad Chuck Girard was in the famed Jesus Movement group “Love Song”.

And Eli Thomson a Maranatha Music artist and producer whose Dad Kevin Thomson was a member of “Sweet Comfort.”

In addition, our two daughters Jennifer Stipe Mouttet, and Allison Stipe Schwab have followed in their Dad’s footsteps working in the Contemporary Christian Music Biz.  They both graduated from Belmont University with degrees in Music Business and have worked for various labels throughout their careers most recently and notably BEC Recordings.  On a side note Allison is also married to a Christian artist, Andrew Schwab of Project 86.

Tickets for the up-coming Phil Wickham concert cost $12 and are available on his website.  Tickets will be available at the door the night of the concert for $17.


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He is Risen! Happy Resurrection Day!

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.

John 20:1-8 (NKJV)

Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26 (NKJV)

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Christ’s Death the Ultimate Expression of the Love of God

God proved his love on the cross.

When Christ hung, and bled, and died it was God saying to the world—I love you.

Billy Graham

God sat in silence while the sins of the world were placed upon his Son. Was it right?

No. Was it fair? No. Was it love?

Yes. In a world of injustice, God once and for all tipped the scales in the favor of hope.

Max L. Lucado

What happened that Friday, Good Friday?

The Apostle’s Creed states it without embellishment: “He was crucified, dead, and buried.” After being tried and sentenced Jesus carried His own cross to Golgotha,

And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. John 19:17

Golgotha in Aramaic (The place of the skull) was probably called this because the hill with its stony barren top looked like a skull. The probable site of Golgotha was outside the city wall and not far from Herod’s palace—perhaps a thousand feet north/northeast of it. Roman custom placed crucifixions, and Jewish custom located stonings, outside towns rather than at their center

The sin offering always used to be taken outside the camp or city (cf. Heb. 13:11-13).

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people withHis own blood, suffered outside the gate.

Several stakes, at most about ten feet high, stood in Golgotha ready to be reused whenever executions occurred. The upright part of the cross (the stipe) was permanently mounted in the crucifixion area. The part that the victim carried was the cross bar, weighing in at 75 to 125 pounds. The cross bar would be balanced on the victim’s shoulders, and their arms would be tied to the crossbar. In this position, if the victim tripped or fell, they could not use their arms to break their fall, and they would likely fall face first into the ground.

The victim was escorted by a Roman guard (probably a centurion and several soldiers), who were responsible for guarding the victim until his death. One of the soldiers would display a sign with the crime written on it. Once the crucifixion area was reached, the victim would be offered a drink of wine mixed with myrrh to act as a mild pain killer. The drink was a charitable service performed by an association of women in Jerusalem.  Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. – Mark 15:23

The Crucifixion

The victim would then be nailed to the cross bar. The nails would be driven through the wrists, not through the palms, as these would not support the body weight. The cross bar would be raised and placed on the upright post, where the victim’s heels would be nailed to the post.

Once crucified, a victim would live for a period ranging from a few hours to a few days. How long he lived depended mostly on how severe the scourging was. If no one claimed the body, it would be left on the cross to be eaten by predatory animals. The family could, however, claim the body for burial. In this case, a Roman soldier would pierce the chest with a sword or spear to make sure the victim was dead.

What actually kills the victim of crucifixion?

The initial scourging would weaken the victim, cause massive blood loss, and probably induce shock. By the time the victim had carried the cross bar to the crucifixion area, he would be exhausted. Once up on the cross, the victim would have his body weight suspended by their arms. In this position, it is difficult to completely exhale. The victim could take shallow breaths for a while, but eventually would be forced to push himself up to take a full breath.  At this point three things happen:

The victim’s weight is now fully supported by his feet. The nails through the feet would be likely to hit two major nerves running through the area. The result would be excruciating pain in the legs.

The nails in the wrists would be likely to pierce the main nerve running through the arm. As the victim pushed up to breath, the wrists would rotate against the nail, irritating the nerves and causing intense pain in the arms. Some authorities also believe that the crucifixion position would dislocate the shoulder or elbow. Any movement would aggravate the pain from these injuries.

The wounds on the victim’s back from the scourging would push up against the rough part of the centerpiece. This would tend to re-open the wounds, leading to more pain and blood loss. This combination of pain would quickly force the victim to lower himself back down. Eventually, the victim would no longer be able to raise himself up and would suffocate. The shock from blood loss due to the scourging would hasten this process. In some cases, the victim’s legs were broken to “finish him off.” This would prevent the victim from being able to raise himself up and he would suffocate in a matter of minutes.

Before the scourging and crucifixion, Jesus was beaten by his guards, which would weaken him. In addition, he would have had no sleep that night, and walked back and forth from trial to trial.

His weakness is attested to in the gospel narritives.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. – Mark 15:21

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. – Matt 27:32

As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. – Luke 23:26

Typically, a prisoner carried his own cross to the crucifixion site. The fact that Simon was pressed into carrying Jesus’ cross suggests that Jesus was too weak to carry his own cross. It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.

Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. – Mark 15:42-44  Since the Jewish Sabbath would begin at Sunset, it was important that the bodies not be left up, as Jewish law required that they be buried by the Sabbath. Note that Pilate is surprised that Jesus is already dead.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. – John 19:31-32

As mentioned earlier, breaking the legs of a crucified person would cause suffocation within minutes, because they would not be able to raise themselves up to breath. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. – John 19:33-34

Again, this was typical crucifixion practice — to stab the victim to make sure he was dead before releasing him to relatives. The “water” that John describes as flowing is probably serous pleural and pericardial fluid fluid that would build up from shock and blood loss. This fluid would tend to accumulate in the chest cavity and lungs.

What does His crucifixion mean for us.

If we believe in Him and trust in Him then our debt of sin is fully paid and the record of our sin is nailed to the Cross with Christ.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. Col. 2:13-14

If we believe in Him and trust in Him then those of us who were once far away from God can be brought near.  Nothing remains between God and us but an open door.

So brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death.  We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us.  It leads through the curtain –Christ’s body. Hebrews 10:19-20

Take some time and speak to the LORD about your need for forgiveness and the removal of guilt over sin in your life.  Imagine the cross and take those charges you want destroyed once and for all and visualize them nailed there.  Jesus was crucified, dead and buried to eliminate the sins of the world that keep man separated from God.  Believe in what Jesus did for you, allow Him to take your sin, repent and follow Him as Lord and Savior and you will be reconciled with God.  That is the message of Good Friday.

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Thomas Update–He’s On the Mend and He Got a Helmet!

Alternative Bike Helmets

As many of you know, my son, Thomas was injured in a bicycle vs. SUV accident on March 5th.  At that time he sustained a TBI (a traumatic brain injury) and was kept in the ICU at Denver Health for five days.

By the grace of God, (Thank you Lord!)  Thomas is doing much better today and I believe that is due in large part to the generous out pouring of prayer he received.  Christians from Crossroads Church of Denver and various other churches throughout the world interceded on our son’s behalf and for that we will always be grateful.

Today, however, nearly a month later, many of you (and we are extremely grateful for the concern) have e-mailed, commented and called asking for an update and so I decided to write a detailed post with the specifics and publish it here.

Thomas has a skull fracture in the basal area of his brain that extends upward through his middle ear on the right side.  At the time of the accident he had a brain bleed; (a subdural hematoma) and his brain was bruised, the frontal and temporal lobes of his brain were all affected.  He also had a chip from his mastoid bone which penetrated his middle ear and caused bleeding from his right ear and initially he demonstrated hearing loss.

The good news is we are told by the doctors that his skull fracture will eventually mend and that the bruising on his brain will gradually dissipate. The bad news on the other hand is that all this healing will take months.  Brain injuries heal very slowly!

In the interim he is suffering from what is called post-concussive syndrome and his main symptoms are headaches, occasional dizziness and fatigue. He is also still experiencing hearing loss in his right ear and a laceration over his left eye is healing. He had stitches to close the laceration above his eye and he lost part of his very bushy black eye brow somewhere in the process. We are not sure whether the eye brow will grow back or not but as his mom this concerns me.  I am personally praying that the eye brow will come back because my very handsome son will look a bit unusual with half a bushy eye brow on one side.  We are told however, that if it does not grow back plastic surgery to fix the problem is fairly simple.

The bottom line is, I –We (his father and I)–would love and appreciate it if you would continue to keep Thomas on your prayer lists.

He is attempting to return to school (Metro State University) after spring break and is already back to work at the Van Shoe store at Cherry Creek Mall.  Most of all we would ask you to pray for him for wisdom to know what activities to resume and what to hold off on.  He needs to be careful because if he re-injures his head it could be life threatening.

I have been told that he has purchased a BIKE HELMET (a very good idea considering) and I am hoping to see it ASAP to confirm the report.  When I do I will take a picture of it to pass it on to all of you (so you too will have the evidence)!  The above picture is an example of one of the alternative style bike helmets that I found on line, proving all helmets don’t have to look dorky!

Thomas in general is an extremely healthy individual so experiencing pain and physical problems is totally new to him and could be challenging.  He is also a total optimist so none of this seems to be bothering him at all.  He minimizes his injuries and is chomping at the bit to get back to his life as if nothing ever happened to him.

Thomas spent the first day or so after being discharged from the hospital with his father and I but he is currently recovering at the home he shares with his three male room mates in downtown Denver.  His house is near the Metro campus and satiates the need for city life and urban love that his generation is so obsessed with.

So then, what specifically, do we ask that you pray for:


Healing of his skull fracture.

Healing of the brain bruising

Healing of the middle ear trauma and restoration of any hearing loss

No seizures as his brain heals

No attention or concentration difficulties

Good recall and no memory loss

WISDOM, WISDOM, and more WISDOM to know when and how to resume activities.

Healing of the laceration above his eye and return of the bushy black eye brow (a mom’s request)

Thanks again to so many of you for loving Thomas, we appreciate your concern.

Maryellen Stipe

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The W@C are hosting “So Long Insecurity” a Beth Moore Live Simulcast.

The live simulcast will be broadcast on April 24th 2010 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and you are invited to come be a part as we watch it together. The event will be held in the Sanctuary at Crossroads Church of Denver and the simulcast will be shown on the big screens affording everyone in attendance a front row seat. The event will feature reserved seating, as well as general admission gallery seating so begin planning to attend today!

This is an event that is not to be missed–the impact on women young and old will without a doubt change lives forever.  Plan now to take advantage of this unique opportunity for personal growth.  The ticket cost is $12 and lunch can be ordered for $8.  Get your tickets and order your lunch on line on the Crossroads Denver main website !

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When Life Hits You Like a Truck, Oh, It Was Only an SUV!

Life at times deals all of us unexpected JOLTS and last Friday night was a huge one for the Stipe family.  I was just placing the last items in my suitcase in anticipation of leaving for a long awaited tour of Israel when the phone rang.  The person on the other end was from Denver Health, a huge hospital in downtown Denver and they wanted to talk to my husband Tom.

I ran up stairs with the phone instinctively and did not even think it strange to be receiving a call from downtown at that time of night. But then I handed the phone to Tom and I could see it on his face, it was not good news.  I could tell by hearing only one half of the conversation that it was serious.  The conversation was over soon and Tom was telling me the unthinkable–our son, Thomas had been hit by an SUV on his bike and was in the emergency room.

Next, there was the good and the bad news.  According to the ER personnel–he had a brain bleed but was not critical.  A brain bleed but not critical–we kept reminding ourselves again and again as we drove to the hospital–because to us a brain bleed–sure sounded critical.  We got to the hospital and it was every parents nightmare. He was covered in blood with a swarm of doctors and nurses attending him.  I had to go out in the hall and sit down because I thought I was going to faint.  I could not take seeing my child like that.  Finally I got the courage to go back in and the swarm was down to one young female “Doc” stitching up a large laceration over Thomas’ eye.  I winced as she wove the stitches in an out over the precious brow I had kissed so often.  And little did I know that this was just the beginning of four harrowing days in the Surgical ICU.

For more on “every parent’s nightmare” see my husband’s thoughts at…


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