Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Wall Street Journal discusses Church Planting!

I thought this was a great article. It helps explain the bigger concept of why Church Planting is so important!


OPINION: HOUSES OF WORSHIP MARCH 19, 2009, 11:13 P.M. ET
When the Pastor Says It's 'A Time to Sow'
By FRED BARNES

In 2007, my wife Barbara and I left The Falls Church, which we had happily attended from the time we became Christians a quarter-century ago. It's a 277-year-old church in northern Virginia well-known for its popular preacher, the Rev. John Yates, its adherence to tradi
tional biblical teachings and its withdrawal in 2005 from the national Episcopal church. Our three grown daughters and their families stayed behind at The Falls Church.

We didn't leave in anger. We didn't have political or theological anxieties. Rather, we left for a new church because our old church wanted us to. The Falls Church has become entrepreneurial as well as evangelical. It's in the church-planting business. And we were encouraged by Mr. Yates to join Christ the King, the church "planted" near our home in Alexandria. We were a bit ambivalent about the move, but when Christ the King opened its doors in September 2007, we were there.

Well, not quite its doors. The church began with a monthly service in a 600-seat school auditorium. About 30 people showed up, mostly members of the seed group dispatched from The Falls Church. Soon Christ the King, which was launched with a grant of $100,000 from The Falls Church, rented an assembly hall, seating about 100, in a private school and started regular worship every Sunday. Now, with 130 adults and 40 kids, we meet Sunday mornings in another church, whose own service is held in the evening.

But we don't just meet one day a week. One of the problems for a new church is that most of the parishioners don't know one another. They're not yet a community. Barbara and I knew fewer than a dozen of the original members of Christ the King. So David Glade, the 35-year-old pastor, organized everyone into dinner groups that gather monthly. Indeed, they had better gather: When our group skipped a month, Mr. Glade wanted to know why.

Three men's Bible studies have popped up along with a women's group. There is a prayer ministry, a vestry, and a choir led by a volunteer music director. A church retreat is set for August. Newcomers tend to be singles or young couples, and six baptisms are scheduled for the Sunday after next. Barbara and I are the old folks.

"It's a pretty amazing start," Mr. Yates told me. But it's not unusual. Church planting is a burgeoning movement among evangelicals who are conservative in doctrine (but not fundamentalist) and inclusive in their outreach to nonbelievers and lapsed Christians. It's a growing missionary field.

There's a theory behind church planting. It rejects the idea of trying to fill up existing churches before building new ones. Old churches are often "closed clubs" that don't attract new residents or young people or "the lost," says the Rev. Johnny Kurcina, an assistant pastor of The Falls Church. Besides, population increase far exceeds church growth in America. This is especially true in cities.

As an Episcopal Church rector, Mr. Yates began thinking about planting churches 20 years ago. But the bishop of Virginia "wouldn't allow us to discuss it," he says, fearing that new Episcopal churches would lure people from older ones. In 2001, he was allowed to plant a church, but only a county away in a distant exurb.

Mr. Yates was strongly influenced by the Rev. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan. Mr. Keller has led in creating new churches -- Redeemer has planted more than 100 churches in New York and other cities around the world. Innovative new churches, he has written, are "the research and development department" for Christianity, attract "venturesome people" as fresh leaders, and have the spillover effect of challenging existing churches to revitalize their ministry.

Leaving the Episcopal denomination (while remaining in the Anglican Communion) has given Mr. Yates the freedom to plant churches in urban areas amid many Episcopal churches. (One is next door to Christ the King.) His goal is to plant 20 churches in northern Virginia before retiring. Christ the King was the third, and a fourth was recently planted in Arlington. Mr. Kurcina, 33, who is my son-in-law, is preparing to plant a fifth in Fairfax County.

For a growing number of young preachers like Christ the King's Mr. Glade, planting and then leading a new church is an ideal option. As orthodox Anglicans, they didn't feel welcome in the Episcopal church. And they felt a strong calling to lead their own parish. Mr. Glade grew up as an Episcopalian in Jacksonville, Fla. After graduation from Florida State, he came to The Falls Church as an intern and spent four years as a youth leader before attending Trinity Seminary outside Pittsburgh. He returned to The Falls Church eager to lead a theologically conservative Anglican congregation. "In order to do that, you had to go out and do it yourself," he told me.

"Every new church has an awkward phase, figuring out who they are and getting to know each other," Mr. Glade says. That phase is over. Christ the King has also become financially self-sufficient. It aims to be a "healthy church," like its parent. "A healthy church reproduces itself," Mr. Glade says. Christ the King may soon do just that. Its assistant rector wants to plant his own church.

Mr. Barnes is the executive editor of the Weekly Standard and a Fox News commentator.

How do preachers get PRESS?


It seems that if you had an affair - there is a tremendous amount of press time devoted to preachers. And sometimes, there is press time given long afterwards. I read today a sad notice that I have copied below where a former pastor is highlighting his virtues on TV after losing his ministry and credibility. It doesn't make sense to me. Why? Is there such a passion to be known? Is this to highlight God's forgiveness? I am not sure.


Ted Haggard, former evangelical pastor, and his wife Gayle, taped an interview for "Divorce Court," to be broadcast nationally April 1. Lynn Toler, the show's presiding judge, interviewed the couple about how their marriage survived after a national sex scandal involving Ted and a male prostitute. Gayle said she was helped through her darkest hours by the biblical principles of forgiveness, compassion and steadfastness, along with her husband's genuine repentance. "This is part of Ted's journey. It's made him a better man. I see what has happened as a divine rescue," she said. [ChristianPost.com]

1909 to 2009

An old friend sent this to me today - I know this is one of those e-mail forward things - but I found it interesting. I wonder what an e-mail - if we have e-mail - like this one will say in 2059.

This is much like the booklets you see in Cracker Barrel that have you year of birth and you see the headlines of that year.

THE YEAR 1909

This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1909.
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1909 :
************ ********* ********* ******

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard. '

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used
Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from
Entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas , Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'


( Shocking? DUH! )

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.S.A. !

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Stop a Church Gossip


This is an old story - thought you would like it!


Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence. She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told George (and several others) that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing. George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny.... He said nothing. Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house...walked home...and left it there all night!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Preached the Gospel to myself and others today



If you would like to listen to or watch (how scary is that) the sermon I preached today at Harbor Church in Mooresville -  here is the link.

Bill Heard is the pastor of this dear church. He is a 
good friend and has done a great job as the church planter/pastor. If you live in the area you need to worship with these dear people! 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Abortion laws - a step in the right direction


Read this today - thought it appropriate for the "Show-Me State!" 

Picture is from the new 3D/4D ultrasound machines


Missouri House Passes Stricter Abortion Bill
Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill 115-43 which bans coercing pregnant women — by a husband, boyfriend or employer — into getting abortions. The bill enhances the state's informed-consent laws by providing women with information about the pain their baby may feel during an abortion and allowing women to view their ultrasound images prior to an abortion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Interesting Survey about Tithing & a Rap!


What if You Required Members to Tithe?

Studies show that pastors struggle with tithing and giving issues with their congregation more often than just about any other subject. Some pastors won't even preach on money or tithing, because it causes too much commotion or they just feel that ministry shouldn't focus on the topic. Most pastors do not require their church membership to tithe in order to remain a member in good standing. However, most pastors would agree (and current statistics prove) that too few of their church members tithe. But it wouldn't be surprising if a moderate percentage of pastors had at least considered requiring the tithe as a provision of membership, particularly in today's economic climate, and even if they are just dreaming.

But it seems that the idea of requiring a tithe might backfire on today's churches. In a recent survey, active American Christian church members were asked, "Suppose your church made a new requirement for church membership: members must give ten percent of their after-tax income to the church or other good causes. Those giving less than ten percent could still attend church, but would not be considered members in good standing. How would you most likely respond to this requirement?" The results showed that 51% of American Christians would either drop out of church or move to a different church if required to tithe. Only 7% said they would just start giving ten percent. 16% said they already give ten percent of their income. 25% would continue to attend, but they would give less than ten percent. 35% said they would move to a church that doesn't have this requirement, and 16% said they would drop out of church life altogether.

From Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don't Give Away More Money by Smith, Emerson & Snell, Oxford Univ. Press, 2008.

Also on the same subject but so much funnier - a "rap" about Tithing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grace upon Grace

"To doubt the good will of God is an inborn suspicion of God with all of us. Besides, the devil...goes about seeking to devour us by roaring: 'God is angry at you and is going to destroy you forever.' In all these difficulties we have only one support, the Gospel of Christ. To hold on to it, that is the trick. Christ cannot be perceived with the senses... The heart does not feel His helpful presence. Especially in times of trials a Christian feels the power of sin, the infirmity of his flesh, the goading darts of the devil...the scowl and judgment of God. All these things cry out against us, death thunders at us, the devil roars at us. In the midst of the clamor the Spirit of Christ cries in our hearts, 'Abba, Father.' And this little cry of the Spirit transcends the hullabaloo of the Law, sin, death, and the devil, and finds a hearing with God. The Spirit cries because of our weakness...(and) is sent forth into our hearts...to assure us of the grace of God." 

Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians

I got this off of one of my "bloggy" friends, Laurie at:  http://lauriemo.blogspot.com



Would you like to listen to a sermon?

I preached a while back at Church of the Redeemer in Monroe, NC.

Here is the link.

Prayer Support Team for Advent Church Plant in Steele Creek, NC


I have fallen behind on my goal of keeping this blog up to day - due to traveling & laziness. 

Below is all the Prayer Warrior Update for the Advent Church plant. I have a goal of having at least 250 or more families and individuals praying for this adventure of faith. If you would like to pray - read on! If you would like regular updates e-mail me at pastorkencross@gmail.com


For those of you who are new to the "Prayer Support Team" for Advent Church and Ken Cross, Church planter. The previous prayer requests and many answers to prayer are below and dated. The most recent communication is always on the top and bold. I ask you to take time to pray as you open this e-mail and read it. I certainly would like you to pray more regularly if you can. My goal is to keep you up to date with an update at least once a month and sometimes more often.

If you would like to be taken off this list just let me know.

Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, 2009

Just a quick praise - I believe due to your intercessory prayers.

As you know one of the big hurdles to starting a church is that I presently live almost and hour and a half from the target area - the Steele Creek area of Charlotte. My Oversight Commission (pastors and elders from the Charlotte area that are very supporting of me, the new church and willingly volunteer to provide wise oversight), has encouraged, prayed and with me set a deadline of being "on the field" of early this summer.

God has answered that prayer. My home in Southern Pines is to close on April 27th and just yesterday Lynn and I signed a contract on a home in Steele Creek. We are to close on April 29th! Thank you for praying! This is big.

One other praise - the Prayer Support Team continues to grow. I am sending this to 151 families or individuals!

Also, I am schedule to start another "Your Questions Evangelistic Bible Study" this Thursday night.

Remember to pray for me as I preach to the dear folks of Harbor Church near Lake Norman this Lord's Day!

THANK YOU!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Here is the title for this update: Great Time to Start a Church, Terrible Time to Raise Funds for a Church Plant

On the morning radio news today the new stat was that 8.1% of the potential working indivduals of our country are unemployed. The last time America was near 10% was in 1982 right after the Carter years. And it seems to be getting worse. In Charlotte there is 12% unemployment and 20 minutes down the road in York Co. SC, very near the target area (Steele Creek, NC) there is 17% unemployment. This means people are under pressure financially and every other way. An old comedian one said that most marriages do not fail due to incompatibility but the first two syllables of the word! When individuals and families are in distress -or when there is any other major transition like divorce, moving, new child ... people are more willing to hear the good news of the gospel. A great time to start a church. But for the same reasons "income and the fear of this economy" tend to hinder my fund raising efforts. So pray please as you read this update and reflect on these things!

Prayer concerns:
I am still searching for health insurance. It will run out on May 1, 2009.
Praise: the Prayer Support Team you have joined is growing. My goal is 200+ families or individuals. Presently you are one of 117!
Fund Raising Goal $225,000 over four years. Many churches are struggling and/or have already made commitments for this year. Pray that many will be able to joint the team next year and their four year commitments will allow for a gradual reduction of support in the future. My Oversight Commission seems to be very please with my progress in this area but as you can imagine it seem so very slow to me. But there is growth. Presently there is $138,897 either pledged or has come in support.
Lynn, my wife, is due to have her thyroids take out in the next 2 months because they found pre-cancerous cells.
My house in Southern Pines is moving toward a closing date of April 27th. We have made offers on two homes in Steele Creek but have not come to an agreement of a price yet. The sellers are very proud of these homes and have not heard we are in a buyers market!
I will be preaching at Harbor PCA near Lake Norman March 22nd and there is a possibility that they might be able to support us! I will also be presenting the Church Plant to Uptown Church which is already supporting Advent on April 26th.
Lynn is leading a woman's Bible study for Westminster Church in Albemarle and enjoying teaching the Beatitudes. I am thoroughly enjoying leading the "Your Questions BS" in Charlotte. We got "snowed out" last weekend.
Next month I will begin a series of "Cottage meeting" to meet with individuals interested in hearing about this ministry with a view of prayer and financial support.
Next week, Lynn, Rebekah and I are traveling to Sioux City, Iowa to watch our Covenant College freshman daughter Margaret play in the NAIA National Championship tournament. Margaret began the year playing very little off the bench and the last 8 games she has started. They are also on a 8 game winning streak. A proud Dad says there is a correlation! She is excited but next week is also her spring break and if we did not go we would not be able to see her. And who knows if she will ever get to the "Big Dance" again.
Would you also pray for the individuals and churches that are faithfully support this ministry. They would not want to be listed but they mean so much.

Thank you do much for praying today!

February 23, 2009

This last weekend I had the great delight to be the Missions Conference Speaker for Northgate PCA in Albany, GA. I pastored there from 1988-1993. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends, see how everyone has aged ... it was a flood of memories. The folks were so affirming - great for my soul.

Many more that have joined the Prayer Support Team! Thank you.

Of special significance was spending time with one of my best prayer warriors, Evelyn Brooks. She has been praying for me everyday since about 1989. I believe that so many of the victories in my life, and ministry and much of my sanctification is due to her prayers. She does not have e-mail so she is the only one I will be mailing prayer requests!

In just a few minutes I will leave my brothers house for a 2 day conference in Atlanta on church planting. Pray that God will use this for my good and the good of the future Advent Church!

Thank you.

*****************************
Dear Prayer Support Team,

February 18, 2009 UPDATE

In Philippians 1:3-6, the church planter/Apostle Paul writes, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Paul, who accomplished so much, recognized and expressed his appreciation for the generous partnership of the Philippians that made it possible. I want to say the same thing to you. Thank you.

If you are new to the "Prayer Support Team" for Advent (Mission) Church, below are previous updates that can catch you up. It is exciting to keep this sort of journal of requests and answers to your prayers. So be sure to thank the Lord for what has already happened.

One prayer request - pray for us to arrange insurance for our family in due season! We especially need to join a group that will allow Lynn's pre-existing conditions.

Here is another story - Last Sunday night we started another "Your Questions Bible Study" in the home of Matthew and Jen. It went very well, even though their friends could not come for the first meeting. Monday night we had dinner with Ben and Jessica who were also at the study and they stayed much later than I had the previous evening. Matthew and Jen shared with them that God is using this time to open doors for their relationship with God that they have never walked though before. That night might have also been the first time they ever prayed out-loud in a group. Do you remember when you did that? Keep praying for them and their friends!

We are trying to coordinate a second "Your Questions BS" with Kevin & Michelle. Right now Michelle's Dad has been seriously ill with a stroke and has postponed it. Pray for healing for Michelle's Father and the right timing for the outreach Bible Study.

We are to close on our home in Southern Pines April 27th. Yesterday, we made an offer on a home in Steele Creek and hopefully we will close on April 29th.

Tomorrow (2/19) I leave to preach at a Missions Conference at Northgate Presbyterian in Albany, GA. I pastored this church for 5 years (1988 - 1993). I will be staying with a dear prayer partner who does not have e-mail but has prayed for me everyday since I left GA. It will be great to see her. I had the privilege to know her husband and bury this dear man, other Roy, many years ago. I will remain in GA a number of days after the conference for two other conferences on church planting and leadership near Atlanta and then return the next Friday.

Requests/Praises:
1. Pray for a Prayer Support Team of at least 200 - presently there are 94 families or individuals.
2. Praise the Lord for a great worship time with Church of the Redeemer in Monroe (2/1). This week I also received an invitation from their Missions Prayer Team to meet with them as they pray for missions.
3. Fund Raising is continuing. My goal has been $225,000 over a four year period. God is answering prayer as He prompts churches and individuals to invest in the Kingdom by supporting this mission church. Presently, we have 1 presbytery supporting us more than they have ever supported a church planter, 5 churches with 8 in process and others still to contact, and 14 individuals with many more in process. All of this totals to $138,497 either pledge or already given. If you would like to be a part of this "over and above your tithe to your local church" investment in the Kingdom - even if it is $5 a month, please let me know and I will get you the information!
4. Pray for the scheduling of the "cottage meetings" with potential "Financial Support Team" members in the near future.
5. ALWAYS PRAY FOR MY WALK WITH THE LORD!
6. House buying and selling and eventual moving!
7. Pray for my daughters at home especially. Karen who will be attending her fourth school in her high school career next fall as a senior. Rebekah will be in the 8th and the new kid again.
8. Lynn and I are more than ready to be in Steele Creek - pray for patience.
9. Pray for the next person to come to Christ through the ministry of Advent Church.

I have been reading the Charlotte Observer every weekday and it is so obvious that the city and the country is struggling. There is financial crisis with job loses ... a hard time to raise money but a great time to share the gospel. Remember that when God brings people into your life!
Remember to stop and pray now!

THANK YOU

*************************************************************

Jan. 26, 2009 Update

- God is so good. A couple in the "Your Questions Bible Study", Matthew and Jennifer, last night said they will host another 6 week study in their home and invite friends they have who they know need the Lord. I am so excited. I am praying that this will cause a snowball effect and another evangelistic study will spring from this with a new couple ....

- I will be going to speak at a missions conference in GA the weekend of Feb. 21.

- The elders of NorthCross cannot support the church plant until the new fiscal year begins in June. But is so many other ways their pastors and elders are so very supportive.

- Since the last update numerous individual supporters had given and 2 churches have made commitments to invest in this gospel work. One for 3 years and the other only makes one year commitments at a time. Presently I am just shy of $130,000 toward a goal of $225,000.

- Tomorrow, Lynn and I will sign a offer to purchase our home in Southern Pines. We were in the "give and take" process for a while, with me mostly giving. This is a major praise! We are to close April 27th. Lynn is ready to pick out a now house last week. Pray that the closing really does happen! And I am praying that the buyers market will be kind to me like it was for the buyers of my home!

- Next Sunday, Feb. 1, I will be preaching a "Missions Sunday" and a supporting - Church of the Redeemer in Monroe, NC.

- Instead of filling the mailboxes of churches in the PCA with my propaganda I have been sending e-mails to pastors of churches in GA that have websites. I read their websites praying for them and trying to determine if they would be willing to invest in a church plant in Charlotte. I have been so encouraged by the response - not promised to support at this point - mostly because they are supporting the church plants of they are mothering or one close to them. It encourages me for the Kingdom! I will try to finish up Ga and then start on SC. I have numerous reference letters, a few of them I send with this e-mail.

- Obviously there are some requests/praises you can glean from these updates. Here are a few more.
1. My walk with the Lord to grow stronger (Always pray for that, the more I grow the more I need to grow!)
2. Lynn will begin a Ladies Bible Study on the Beatitudes at a local ARP Church we have been attending and that support Advent. It will start next Wednesday.
3. For a prayer team of 200+. Right now you are one of 84
4. While typing this, I just got an e-mail inviting me to preach at Harbor Church, near Lake Norman to present the work in SS too!
5. At date to be determined, Uptown Church wants me to present the mission church and they are desirous of challenging families and individuals that live in the Steele Creek to join this gospel effort. This is a very gospel thing to do especially as they are about to mother their third Charlotte area church in the near future as I understand it.
6. After meeting with the pastor of the closest PCA church to the Steele Creek area, Harrison Spitler of Grace Church wants me to share the visions on a Sunday morning in June and the elders will come forward to encourage the pray if God is calling them to help with this mission church. At the same time they are in the midst of buying their first piece of land!
7. Pray that we will reach or financial goals ASAP!
8. Pray against the attacks of Satan. They are happening. I will not go into detail.
9. Pray for the next person to come to Christ through the ministry of Advent Church.

THANK YOU

Jan. 6, 2009
The preaching went very well. I preached on Luke 9:1-6 when Jesus sent the disciples on a training mission to prove that He could provide when he was not present especially in the area of sharing the Kingdom truths. One very time sensitive opportunity for evangelism that I challenged them with was to gather their friends that do now know Jesus together in their homes for a 6 week Bible Study in which I give them 3x5 cards to ask anything about the Bible, Jesus, eternal life, Christianity ... and the studies that I will teach will answer those questions. That is what I am presently doing with Ben & Jessica Coulter - they are the couple that have joined Advent Mission Church.

Emma was baptized during the first official worship service of Advent. My oversight commission (elders & pastors for Charlotte PCA churches) allowed us to have this service so they would not have to wait so long until our second worship service - hopefully in September of 2009. We had about 25-30 folks attend and my son Oliver lead worship. It was great. Thank you for praying.


Now some new requests:

- I just heard from a church in Georgia that wants me to be at their mission conference and we are working out the dates. Pray. I will also try to meet with other churches in SW GA once the dates are firm.

- I am speaking at 2 Charlotte area churches soon. Church of the Redeemer in Monroe Feb. 1 and at Harbor Church in Mooresville (Date to be determined very soon.

- I will be meeting with the NorthCross PCA elders on Jan 15th to discuss possible support. I have preached for them in the past. They are in Cornelius.

- There should be a number of cottage meetings in the Moore County area in the next 3 months. Date have not been firmed up yet. About 6 families are hosting and inviting interested people to those meetings and I will share more of the mission and totally what is going on with my family and ministry.

- Today I met with the MNA Committee (Mission to North America) - which called me to this church planting ministry in Charlotte. They were very encouraging and affirmed me in the direction I am going. I am thankful for these wise men. One of the elders from a church told me that their church might be supporting Advent and they will be deciding tomorrow night - especially pray about that please.

- I am working on a major fund raising letter/mailing to churches and individuals that I do not know as well. I have gathered some reference letters of recommendation. Pray for favor. Many of these churches were church plants in the past 20 years and know what it entails to start a church from scratch. Pray that they will be willing to invest in this portion of the Kingdom!

- Praise - Pledged support is now over $110,000. My goal is $225,00 over 4 years!
- Praise - you are one of 60 families/individuals that is getting this e-mail. My goal is that the Prayer Support team will grow to over 200!

Dec. 27th, 2008

Thank you for be on my prayer team - I really depend upon you and your prayers. I sincerely believe that God answers prayers and if you are prompted to pray for me in Jesus name -- then those prayers are prompted by God and He will answer! I have always believed that you have not because you ask not! So will you ask God to:
- use me as I preach at Westminster ARP Church in the morning at 10:30 am
- I will be challenging the dear folks of this church to realize they are in the harvest field and give them a very interesting opportunity to reach out = more about that in a later update.
- Tomorrow at 3:00 PM Advent Presbyterian will have a special worship service in Stallings, NC to hear the preached Word and celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism - our first. Pray for Emma and her parents Ben & Jessica Coulter. Picture below. They are the first members of the Advent PCA core group. So I will be preaching twice - 2 different sermons. I need prayer!


Nov. 3, 2008

Dear Friends,

I am developing a prayer team for the Advent mission that I have the privilege to start as a church planter. You are either a long time prayer partner, a pastor of a supporting church, a supporter or on my oversight commission. If you do not desire to pray for this mission please let me know.

I am really excited and what you to be praying for a number of things! I will mention just a few.
- Sunday the 16th I will be leading an evangelistic BS at Ben Coulter's home for 4 or 5 couples that all are unbelievers and work at Wachovia. They know Ben but do not know one another. I am calling this "Your Questions Bible Study". On Sunday we will have some time to know one another and introduce the BS. I will also share a profile of God's grace in my life. The topics the next 5 weeks will be their questions about Jesus, the Bible, Christianity .... My specific request is that all of the will be there on Sunday, that over time God will save them and that we can have 1 or 2 other similar studies that these couples will host!

- Pray for my house to sell - I have lowered the price $30,000 already. The 2 things that must happen before we can move to Steele Creek is to sell the house and raise sufficient support.

- Pray for a "Cottage meeting" at Rich and Anne Smith's home on Wednesday the 19th as we discuss gathering more prayer and financial supporters.

- Prayer specifically for the 5 PCA churches that are praying about supporting this mission church for the next 3 or 4 years.

- And since you know me - pray for me and my walk with the Lord!

There is much more but I promised you just a few!

If you haven't checked out my blog - www.crossrevilo.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prayer for Guidance


A good friend of mine, Anne Templeton sent this prayer by Billy Graham to me a number of weeks ago. Since then Paul Harvey has died and now knows the "rest of the real Story".


THIS MAN SURE HAS A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT'S HAPPENING 
TO OUR COUNTRY! 

'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your 
forgiveness and to seek your direction and 
guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to 
those who call evil good,' but that is exactly 
what we have done. We have lost our 
spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. 
We have exploited the poor and called it the 
lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it 
welfare. We have killed our unborn and 
called it choice. We have shot abortionists and 
called it justifiable. We have neglected 
to discipline our children and called it 
building self esteem. We have abused power 
and called it politics. We have coveted our 
neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. 
We have polluted the air with profanity 
and pornography and called it freedom of 
expression. We have ridiculed the 
time-honored values of our forefathers and 
called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh 
God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from 
every sin and Set us free. 
Amen!'


Commentator
Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, 'The Rest of the Story,' and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and
wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called 'One nation under God.'

Monday, March 2, 2009

Two Videos from last weekend's Tournament Wins

video
An article about the weekend is found here.
video

Basketball and Life

I have been watching a lot of basketball - not as much as driving up and down the interstate - but none the less a lot of basketball. And it has been great. Not TV, but live college basketball with all of the excitement imaginable. It makes it more exciting when your daughter is playing! More about that is another post soon.

I just read a very interesting article about another female basketball player, just a few years older than MArgaret but younger than Katie who has been criticized. Candace Parker, who is many of my daughter's favorite female athlete, recently got pregnant. Read this well written article.




Parker Deserves Support, Not Censure, for Embracing Motherhood 
By Colleen Carroll Campbell
Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2009


ARTICLE
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Publication Date: February 12, 2009

Last month in California, 33-year-old unemployed single mother of six, Nadya Suleman, gave birth to octuplets conceived through in vitro fertilization and promptly hired a publicist to field the torrent of interview requests and book-deal offers headed her way. That same week, a group of middle-aged single mothers in New Jersey was the subject of a fawning profile in The New York Times that celebrated their decisions to intentionally create fatherless families. And just last week, 60-year-old Canadian Ranjit Hayer enjoyed celebratory headlines when she gave birth to twins conceived through IVF, becoming a first-time mother at an age when most women are doting on their grandchildren.

It was in this context of unconventional motherhood that St. Louis-born WNBA star Candace Parker recently announced her pregnancy. Parker probably figured the news would be non-controversial, given that the fresh-faced Los Angeles Sparks forward and Olympic gold medalist is happily married to Sacramento Kings forward Shelden Williams. Both earn more than enough to support a family: Parker alone reaps millions on and off the court as one of the most celebrated women athletes in the world.

But Parker's pregnancy was not greeted with the same approval and tolerance that many of today's child-bearing sexagenarians and single mothers by choice enjoy when they form their families. Instead, Parker was blasted by fans and pundits for becoming a mother at age 22. Critics bemoaned her selfishness in putting maternal ambitions ahead of her team's 2009 season prospects. Others lamented her foolishness for starting a family when she should be living a strings-free existence oriented around her glamorous career.

Not long ago, a 22-year-old woman was considered plenty old enough to marry and bear children. But in today's era of prolonged adolescence and commitment phobia, high-achieving women like Parker often face ridicule and scorn for defying the feminist conventional wisdom that marriage and motherhood are second-rate pursuits best delayed until middle age. Young mothers frequently are accused of forfeiting a hard-won feminist privilege: the right to spend their 20s single-mindedly pursuing sexual license, success and self-fulfillment without the hassles of a husband and children.

For her part, Parker told the Los Angeles Times that she wanted her children to grow up witnessing the athletic career of their young mother rather than arriving after it ends. Although she believes she can return to basketball as a mother, Parker said, "The biggest thing for me is not a matter of if or when [I return] but of coming back with a good balance in my life."

Parker's view of motherhood as "a blessing" that will "make me a fuller, happier person" is not as unusual as the media hoopla over her pregnancy suggests. As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, the National Center for Health Statistics has released data showing that the mean age at which American women bear their first babies decreased for the first time since the collection of such data began in 1968. The decline in age among first-time mothers was slight -- from 25.2 years in 2005 to 25.0 years in 2006, the latest year for which numbers are available -- but the biggest uptick in first-time births was found among women in their early 20s.

The reasons behind that uptick vary from mother to mother. But the ones Parker cited surely motivate many young women, as does the desire to avoid the trials of infertility and single motherhood often experienced by women who awaken late to their longing for children. Rather than being criticized, Parker ought to be applauded for bearing her child in the stable context of a marriage and daring to trade some of her youthful freedom for the grown-up reward of committed family love.

-- Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, television and radio host and St. Louis-based fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Her website is www.colleen-campbell.com.

9.80 APG 3.8 EFF + 21.67
Born: Apr 19, 1986
Height: 6-4 / 1,93
Weight: 175 lbs. / 79,4 kg.
College: Tennessee
Years Pro: 1