Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We the People

I know my wife will love this one!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Me Be Gone Video

Ed Stetzer shared this on his blog from the drama team of Two Rivers Church! Enjoy

ME BE GONE from Two Rivers on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alabama has a Heisman Trophy Winner!

As an Alabama fan this makes me happy - but not as happy as tonight Margaret played basketball against Piedmont College and was perfect from the field shooting. At one point in the game she came in with the team behind by three and immediately scored five points to put Covenant ahead for good - a very important five points. She ended the game as the high scorer despite not starting the game.

She was 3 for 3 from behind the arc, 1 for 1 from 2 pt. range, and 2 for 2 from the line in a low scoring contest for a total of 13 points.

Ok so I am a proud Dad - what can I say!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Motivational Poster

Sent to me by my Tall Son, Michael!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quick Quote

People never change until the pain of staying the same grows greater than the pain of change. Ed Stetzer

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Which one of these do you know the most about: Black Friday or Advent?

Last Sunday I offered to send to our group a short article they could use to send to friends about what the Advent season is about and to introduce our church plant. Use is if you like.

Which one of these do you know the most about: Black Friday or Advent?

My guess is that you know more about Black Friday. Let me tell you something you do not know about this upcoming Friday. It occurs on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it's one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States, falling anywhere between the 23rd and 29th of November. While it's not recognized as an official US holiday, many employees have the day off – except those working in retail, of course! In the 1960's, police in Philadelphia griped about the congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians, calling it “Black Friday.” It also has a financial connotation. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit.

My personal goal is to never have to go shopping on Black Friday – but I am a guy. But what about Advent? I am a pastor and a church planter. The name of the new church is Advent. Let me tell you a little about what Advent means because this Sunday is the first of four Sundays called the Sundays of Advent.

"Advent" comes from the Latin word adventus, which means "visit" or "coming" or "arrival." The four week season of Advent is a time to get ready for the two "visits" of Christ: His first coming through the Incarnation, and His second coming as the reigning Lord. It's a time of waiting, hoping, and getting in touch with our need for a Savior. It's a season of preparation for Christmas, much as Lent is a season of preparation for Easter.

In Advent we look back to the experience of Israelites as they yearned for God to forgive their sin and restore their nation. We put ourselves in their shoes as they hoped for the coming of the Messiah. Thus we ready our hearts to celebrate the good news of Christmas.

No doubt you will see one of the many versions of the classic story, Christmas Carol. This story reminds me of the power of being forced to reflect on the past, present and future. Scrooge is remembered for his coldness but ultimately for the reverse direction he took when confronted with the future as well as misspent past. Tiny Tim has a future because Scrooge looked to the past and repented! I want to be like Scrooge – someone who is willing to repent and also live in light of a hopeful future – that is what Advent is all about. Look back, look forward and have hope because there really is a Savior!

So as you look at your budget before you leave for “Black Friday”, look at you soul during the next four weeks of Advent and see if you have the hope that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give! And if you would like to find out more about that hope and joy you are invited to be a part of the new church we are calling Advent – a joyful, preparing people that are learning how to party!

Until the Trump,

Ken Cross
Church Planter

Friday, November 20, 2009

I know where you can send your holiday giving!

Very 'interesting article! Ken

Holiday Giving

According to new study results soon to be released from Harris Interactive®, more than three out of four U.S. adults would prefer to receive a meaningful gift this holiday season that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics. The study was commissioned by World Vision® among 1,001 adults from October 29 to November 1.

The new survey on charitable giving also concluded that nearly half of U.S. adults (49%) would be more likely to give a "charitable gift" as a holiday present this year. "That finding reveals our charitable culture at work," said Justin Greeves, senior vice president of public affairs and policy research at Harris Interactive.

Additionally, the study showed that, this year, around six out of ten adults (57%) said they will spend less money on holiday presents and almost three out of four (74%) plan to increase their charitable giving once the economy improves. []

As many of you know I am a church planter in Charlotte, NC. Our goal is to have our first public worship service on Palm Sunday, almost 5 months away and there is so much to be done. One vital element of this is the need to raise $50,000 for start up cost (sound equipment, chairs, nursery equipment...). If you would like to give one time gifts to this effort you can send checks made out to Advent Church to our treasurer:
Ben Coulter
4008 Cedar Point Ave
Matthews NC 28104

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Margaret had 6 3's!

Lady Scots Rally From Behind But Come Up Short Against
Tennessee Wesleyan
November 18, 2009 - 21:46 — covstaff

Lookout Mountain, GA- In their first home game of the 2009-2010 season, the Lady Scots overcame an 18 point half-time deficit and took the lead over Tennessee Wesleyan with just over 5 minutes remaining. Sophomore guard Margaret Cross fueled part of the comeback with several clutch threes, one of which gave Covenant their first lead since early in the first half. Cross finished with a team high 18 points in her 24 minutes of play. Covenant's second half lead, however, was short lived as the Lady Bulldogs surged back in front on their succeeding possession and kept the lead for the remainder of the game.
"We responded well to our half-time adjustments" said Coach Smialek after the game. "Overall, the team played very hard and is continuing to improve. I'm confident that it will all come together soon." Covenant post player Erika Forland recorded her second double-double in as many games with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Brinkley Knowles added 17 points of her own.
The Lady Scots are now 0-2 on the year and will travel to Atlanta, GA this weekend for a small tournament at Emory University. Their next ho scheduled me game isfor Wednesday, December 2 at 5:30 against former rival Bryan College.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love it when people predict that Alabama will beat Auburn!

Where is your Cell Phone

The following stat reminds me of Margaret who goes to bed with her cell phone. Rebekah has Lynn cell phone most of the time. She stayed at the lake last weekend rather than coming with me as she had planned because she could not take Lynn's cell phone with her. I am still trying to figure all of this out and what is good and what is obsession with being available. It is a need to feel important that someone is thinking of you so they call you?
{I know there is safety issues especially for girls but this goes way beyond that!}

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If Mom's are lonely

More from my reading - this makes me think that if Christians are making friends, our friends will come to know the one a friend "closer that a brother".

Moms are More Lonely These Days

InfoWith the frenzied pace of today's moms, many women find friendships and relationships often fall to the wayside. With just 19% living in the community where they grew up, moms desperately seek new connections and they struggle: 58% report experiencing loneliness in the past month, and 4 out of 5 need more friends in their lives.

Engage Moms, 10/21/09

Singleness and the poor economy

This strike closer to home as Oliver is soon to graduate college and shortly after that Margaret too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cohabitation - Living together without the benefit of Marriage

Thought you might want to read about a rapidly increasing portion of our society. Ken

Cohabitation Study

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 02:58 AM PST

parent-adventure.jpgRemember that Bon Jovi song from the late 80s, "Living in Sin?"

Well, I'm guessing half of you do.

It's about "love" justifying living together as a married couple, without a marriage covenant.

The song shouts, "I call it love, they call it living in sin!"

Remember? Rock ballad, black and white video?

Anyway, people are still talking about it and more people are living together today than they were back in the 1980s. At LifeWay Research, we wanted to know more.

In June of 2008 (and September 2007), we conducted related surveys (thankfully, not about Bon Jovi) for a recent book on parenting, The Parent Adventure: Preparing Your Children For a Lifetime With God, by Selma & Rodney Wilson and Scott McConnell.

In our study, we found that 6% of all parents with children under 18 years of age in their home are living with a partner to whom they are not married.

To give this some context, we first determined that 69% of all parents are married and 31% are single. We asked these single parents the following question:

Which of the following best describes you today?

  1. you are the only adult in your household (18% of all parents; 58% of single parents)

  2. you live with another adult family member (6% of all parents; 21% of single parents)

  3. you live with a room mate with whom you are not involved in a relationship (1% of all parents; 2% of single parents)

  4. you live with a partner with whom you are involved in a relationship" (6% of all parents; 19% of single parents)

The 2008 survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,077 American adults who have children under 18 years old in their household. A demographically balanced online panel was used for the interviewing and we have 95% confidence that the sampling error for the total sample does not exceed +3.0%.

One other study in which we asked a similar question to determine current living situation was a study conducted in April-May 2007 among young adults ages 18-30 who had attended a Protestant church regularly (twice a month or more) for at least a year in high school.

We asked all respondents:

Please indicate your current living situation.

  1. I live with my parents (20%)

  2. I live with my spouse (44%)

  3. I live with my partner/ significant other (13%)

  4. I live with roomate(s) (11%)

  5. I live alone (9%)

  6. Other (3%)

One of the key findings from this study reported in a story last year was that 70% of these young adults ages 23-30 had stopped attending church regularly for at least a year between ages 18 and 22. When we break out the question above by these "dropouts" compared to those who "stayed in church" during these years, we found a statistically significant difference in the percentage who were currently cohabiting. In short, among young adults who had attended a Protestant church regularly in high school, cohabitation is almost twice as likely among those who stop attending church regularly between ages 18 and 22 compared to those who stay in church.

  • 15% of "dropouts" live with a partner or significant other

  • 8% of those who "stayed in church" live with a partner or significant other

Dropouts = adults ages 18-30 who had attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year in high school but stopped attending regularly for at least a year between ages 18 and 22.

Stayed in church = adults ages 18-30 who had attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year in high school and continued attending regularly between ages 18 and 22.

This study was conducted among a representative sample of 1,023 young adults ages 18-30 who had attended a Protestant church regularly (twice a month or more) for at least a year in high school. A demographically balanced online panel was used for the interviewing and we have 95% confidence that the sampling error for the total sample does not exceed +3.1%.

It is probably not a surprise that those who are cohabiting are also more likely to be dropouts, but it does speak to some of the challenges in reaching adults in our culture.

I'm interested in how you deal with people living together? How do you reach them, answer their questions, and minister to them?

Monday, November 9, 2009

When Things Speed Up, Leaders Should Slow Down

Found this is my reading and like it.

InfoLeadership development consultant Brad Lomenick suggests that when facing times of great intensity and pressure, leaders should:

  1. Always over-communicate.
  2. Be methodical and calm, not intense and short.
  3. List out priorities, so as to not be overwhelmed by the small things that seem to be incredibly urgent, but really aren’t.
  4. Seek out quiet moments for prayer, reflection and thinking. During times of pressure, that is when we need those quiet moments the most.
  5. Resist the urge to let things slide or just settle for something average because of the pressure to get it done. Keep your standards and levels of excellence at their highest—don’t compromise.

Brad Lomenick, On the Journey

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Price wars on Books - Don't tell my wife!

From my reading:

Book Price War Might Benefit Pastors

InfoHeaven knows pastors love to read, and a price war between book retailers might just be a blessing to them. has dropped the price on their top 10 pre-order titles to $10, including free shipping. Also they are offering their top 200 books at discounts of 50% or more in a program called America’s Reading List. A day later, Amazon matched Wal-Mart’s pricing, and both sites have dropped those 10 promotional titles to just $9. It remains to be seen what this will do to already-beleaguered chain and independent book stores, but pastors might take advantage of the low pricing in the meantime.

Publisher’s Lunch 10/16/09

Monday, October 26, 2009

I went this way last week!

It will be a while to repair the rock slide on I - 40, our favored way to take Margaret to Covenant. I guess we will go though Atlanta for a while - it just seems so out of the way!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Don't do the Math - have kids and trust Jesus

Preached the Gospel to myself and others last Sunday

You can listen and or watch it here.

These are dear people and the pastor, Bill Heard, is one of the best guys that I know. If you live in the area you ought to worship with them!

Tim Tebow - a discussion.

As a Alabama fan I agree with Jeff and what he says below. My caution to a young boy and picking heros is not to pick a hero that is alive. You do not know how he will turn out over time. Tim Tebow is trying to live out the gospel - love that. I even pray that he never falls morally. He is my brother in Christ after all.

I just hope in God's providence that humility will happen in the SEC championship game when he plays against the University of Alabama - Roll Tide Roll!

Jeff Robinson
September 29, 2009

For nearly four years, Tim Tebow has presented a dilemma in my home. He is an all-American quarterback, perhaps one of the two or three best players ever to play the college game. He is, as we say in my rural Georgia hometown, "tougher than pig iron," often battering his body and willing his troops to victory like Aragorn at Helms Deep. Opposing players see Tebow in the huddle and shudder. He plays every down as if it were his last. I really like that.

But, herein lies our dilemma: he plays for the Florida Gators, the national champions, and my family has for decades bled the red and black of the Georgia Bulldogs, my alma mater's entry in the toughest sports conference in America. For us, the operative equation goes something like this: Dawgs plus Gators equals mortal enemies. But here is my recent problem: Tim Tebow is my brother in Christ. He shares the Gospel, undertakes missions work, and seeks to live a Godward life with the same tenacity that he displays when it is third-and-goa

l on the opponent's one-yard line. Tebow wears eye black emblazoned with John 3:16 and he plays football the way a Christian should: smash mouth, grit-and-gunpowder, all out all the time, to the glory of God. It is exceedingly difficult to root against such a brother. Tebow's full story is available here.

Last season, after Florida suffered its lone defeat of the year, Tebow publicly shouldered the blame for the loss. In a memorable post-game press conference, he pledged to apply every ounce of his strength toward winning the remaining games. Florida won 10 straight (steamrolling our beloved Bulldogs along the way), its final victory coming in the national championship game against Oklahoma. Florida's streak began with Tebow exhibiting a concise summary of biblical manhood - tenacious humility. And Tebow's tenacious humility became the tracks upon which the streak rode. Last weekend, Tebow suffered a concussion against Kentucky, but I suspect he'll be back very soon. He's not the game-missing kind.

Recently, my oldest son asked me if it would be okay if he adopted Tim Tebow as a hero so long as he maintained his primary allegiance to a certain team from Athens, Ga. (where, incidentally, head coach Mark Richt, a vibrant follower of Christ, is also a wonderful example of biblical manhood). I didn't have to think very long. "Absolutely," I told him, wondering if I had really just signed off on such a request. This dilemma has stretched me; it has made me pray for the grace to live in accord with the difficult imperatives of Romans 12, which is always a good thing. In the same manner as Paul admonished believers to imitate him insofar as he imitated Christ, I want my boys to be like Tebow because he is a very clear and winsome example of what biblical manhood should look like in a young man.

One does not have to delve very deep to find a vibrant and orthodox faith living within college football's brightest star. This past summer, Tebow was asked about his commitment to stay pure until marriage. Could it be true? "Yes," he told a cynical media corps, without blinking. Tebow believes the Bible teaches that sex is the exclusive privilege of a man and woman within the bonds of marriage. He said so without blinking, later admitting that he does not date. And so authentic was his answer and so authentic has been his walk before a watching public, the usually snarky fifth estate received the answer without the customary ridicule. "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word." (Ps. 119:9)

Tebow is unashamed of Christ and all the implications that come from following Him. He is willing to endure mockery and ridicule for Christ because, as he recently told ESPN in an interview, living for Christ is life and death. And football? Well, he told ESPN, it is just a game and it is by no means ultimate; Christ and the Gospel are.

This is what biblical manhood does. Biblical manhood carries out assigned tasks with diligent effort to the glory of God. It walks unashamedly with Christ and risks alienating the city of man on issues such as sexual purity because it lives with a greater city in view. It lovingly, humbly, and with biblical tenacity, leads and protects those placed under its care, manfully shouldering the blame and repenting when it fails. Biblical manhood enjoys the good gifts God has given while worshiping the Giver as the supreme treasure. And it pushes fathers to teach their sons that love for the body of Christ trumps affections for their favorite football team.

Go Dawgs, but God bless you brother Tim. Thank you for giving my sports-crazed son a snapshot of Christ and a reminder of the supremacy of the Gospel.

You can find this article here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Covenant College WeeKend for Karen

Who knows where Karen will go to college but she visited Covenant College with some friends a week ago. Her sister Margaret wants her to join her there for sure!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What David Letterman Can Teach Us About the Gospel

What David Letterman Can Teach Us About the Gospel

Posted using ShareThis


fast facts

The top-10 words kids search online are:

  1. 1. YouTube
  2. 2. Google
  3. 3. Facebook
  4. 4. Sex
  5. 5. MySpace
  6. 6. Porn
  7. 7. Yahoo
  8. 8. Michael Jackson
  9. 9. Fred (A popular fictional character whose YouTube channel has become a hit among kids)
  10. 10. eBay
from 10/7/09 edition of
Church Leaders

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How is this for a Quote about the Church?

Sam Storms, p 17 To the One Who Conquers

“The only thing that ultimately matters is the degree to which a church corporately and the lives of its members individually are shaped and fashioned according to the likeness of him who is Lord indeed.

In the final analysis, Jesus cares comparatively little about numerical size, cultural relevance, social influence, or financial prosperity. What matters most to him and must therefore matter most to us is whether a church holds forth his name, proclaims the gospel of which he is the center, and heeds his words as guidance to govern its life and loves. Is your church Jesus-driven? Are the ministries and programs of your corporate existence energized and given shape by what pleases him? Is he prized above all earthly treasures? Is faithfulness unto death an easy choice to you and those of your congregation?”

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Karen's Sr. Pictures

Pics taken by Aphrodite Photography Inc.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Miracle in Franklin video

Take 5 minutes and this will challenge and encourage you! It did me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best Senior Class Ever!

The title of this blog is CROSS HAPPENINGS. Here is a significant happening.

Karen, my 4th of 5, said this the other night at the dinner table. "I am in the best senior class ever!"

This is the same girl that has been in 4 schools in 4 years of HS. The some one that begged to stay with friends in Albemarle and attend last year's school.

This is an answer to prayer - mark is down. A Cross Happening for sure. Thank you to all of you that pray for the Cross family and especially for Karen, [Kingbean, Kenny, King ...].

The picture to the right is from the 2nd retreat she has been on with her sr. class!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Real Life & Death Issues from ER

A friend of Lynn's posted on her blog this from ER and Ray Comfort. I plan on using it in our Bible Study next Sunday night. So Ben if you check this blog before Sunday you can see it twice!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UnChristian or Unchurched?

I get a "church report" via e-mail and there are a lot of facts and figures. The one below finally says what I have been sensing a long time, and in fact, it marks the way I approach people who say they believe. In my mind I do not want to lose an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who thinks they are saved but does not understand the gospel. Like me, in my early years I thought I was a Christian because I went to church when I was a boy with my Mom. It had nothing to do with who Jesus was or if he really was alive today.

Those who are not living out the gospel - need compassion and evangelism. They are unchurched - in the Biblical sense.

By the way, I disagree with the last sentence below. If you are unchurch - there ought to be big doubt is you are a Christian at all!


InfoChurch historian Rodney Stark reports between 1960 and 2000, the Episcopal Church declined 55% in terms of members per 1,000 U.S. population. The United Methodist Church declined 49%, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) declined 49%. Megachurches have doubled in number and size in the past five years. This leaves the churched population among Christians at about 40% attending regularly. It also says, with about 85% nominally Christian in the U.S., only about half of them regularly attend church. They are not unChristian; they are unchurched.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some great videos you have to check out!

Margaret make sure Hannah sees the Chick Fil-A song!

Katie and Michael - watch this one!
Matt & Belinda - watch this one!

It is officially Cross Country Season

Oliver had his first cross country race last weekend in his last season as a college runner. You can follow his schedule and results here. If you look at this website you will see his picture on the banner - he is now a poster boy for Wingate Cross Country!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Prayer for Renewal

I have been reading and praying prayers from the book, Valley of Vision for a long time in my devotions. It is amazing that they seem so appropriate to my life and soul. I prayed this one today. It is comforting that long ago someone else felt the same way and today provides me with the vocabulary to pray my desires.

My favorite phrase is "Ride forth in me, thou King of kings and Lord of lords"

"A Disciple's Renewal."

O My Saviour, help me.
I am so slow to learn, so prone to forget, so weak to climb;

I am in the foothills when I should be in the heights;
I am pained by my graceless heart,
my prayerless days,
my poverty of love,
my sloth in the heavenly race,
my sullied conscience,
my wasted hours,
my unspent opportunities.
I am blind while light shines around me:
take the scales from my eyes,
grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.
Make it my chiefest joy to study thee,
meditate on thee,
gaze on thee,
sit like Mary at thy feet,
lean like John on thy breast,
appeal like Peter to thy love,
count like Paul all things dung.
Give me increase and progress in grace so that there may be;
more decision in my character,
more vigor in my purposes,
more elevation in my life,
more fervor in my devotion,
more constancy in my zeal.
As I have a position in the world,
keep me from making the world my position;
May I never seek in the creature what can be found only in the creator;
Let not faith cease from seeking thee until it vanishes into sight.
Ride forth in me, thou King of kings and Lord of lords,
that I may live victoriously, and in victory attain my end.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rebekah made Cheerleading Squad!

My Bekah went to a new school, and didn't know anyone. Scary for a thirteen year old. She stayed after school all week to try out for cheering and she made it! I am so proud of her for over coming her fear and pursuing what she wanted.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Feelings & Emotions

In our fluctuations of feeling, it is well to remember that Jesus admits no change in his affections; your heart is not the compass Jesus saileth by. Samuel Rutherford

Ever wonder if people like you or not? I am sure everyone has - it is more painful when you wonder if people you like very well shows you emotions and feeling that, in you mind, indicated that they do not like you.

Remember Jesus and his love! No one will equal his feelings for you or me.

Friday, August 7, 2009