Lay Me Down

I suppose you could lay me down to die in Illinois
Bury me beneath the rows of corn
Or in-between the maple trees I climbed on as a boy
Where in the Land of Lincoln I was born

Oh, and I recall
We rode the combines in the fall
And there comes a time 
For gathering the harvest after all

So when you lay me down to die
I’ll miss my boys, I’ll miss my girls
Lay me down and let me say goodbye to this world
You can lay me anywhere
But just remember this
When you lay me down to die
You lay me down to live
Well I asked a girl to marry me on a dock out on the lake
Our babies came to life in Tennessee
And the music of the mountains is still keeping me awake
Yeah, but everything that rises falls asleep

We are not alone
We are more than flesh and bone
What is seen will pass away
What is not is going home

When you lay me down to die
I’ll miss my boys, I’ll miss my girls
Lay me down and let me say goodbye to this world
You can lay me anywhere
But just remember this
When you lay me down to die

I’ll open up my eyes on the skies I’ve never known
In the place where I belong
And I’ll realize His love is just another word for Home

I believe in the holy shores of uncreated light
I believe there is power in the blood
And all of the death that ever was,
If you set it next to life
I believe it would barely fill a cup
‘Cause I believe there’s power in the blood

When you lay me down to die
So long, boys, so long, girls
Lay me down and let me say goodbye to this world
You can lay me anywhere
But just remember this
When you lay me down to die
You lay me down to live


To Be Self-Forgetful

Friends, wouldn’t you want to be a person who does not need honour – nor is afraid of it? Someone who does not lust for recognition – nor, on the other hand, is frightened to death of it? Don’t you want to be the kind of person who, when they see themselves in a mirror or reflected in a shop window, does not admire what they see but does not cringe either? Wouldn’t you like to be the type of person who, in their imaginary life, does not sit around fantasizing about hitting self-esteem home-runs, daydreaming about successes that gives them the edge over others? Or perhaps you tend to beat yourself up and to be tormented by regrets. Wouldn’t you like to be free of them? Wouldn’t you like to be the skater who wins the silver, and yet is thrilled about those three jumps that the gold medal winner did? To love it the way you love a sunrise? Just to love the fact that it was done? For it not to matter whether it was their success or your success. Not to care if they did it or you did it. You are as happy that they did it as if you had done it yourself – because you are just so happy to see it

– Tim Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

Do Not Lose Heart

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Random Reflections

  • Had a great day at CrossPointe Winter Park yesterday.
  • Lots of new guests and people taking next steps toward connecting.
  • Probably had our largest Meet CrossPointe lunch ever – our house was not really made for that many people. It was a good problem to have.
  • Really loving the book of Jonah – fun to revisit this book almost 6 years after teaching through it with our launch team.
  • Worship set was really powerful yesterday. Grateful for those who sacrifice weekly to use their talents in this area.
  • Monday is my day for church planting work outside of CrossPointe Winter Park
  • Got to spend time with one of the CrossPointe planters. Always encouraged by what God is doing in and through the family of CrossPointe.
  • Got to spend time with a prospective church planter. Always fun sharing my/our story and reminds me of God’s grace in this entire process.
  • Really love hanging with church planters.
  • My girls started school today
  • We had a great summer. It was bittersweet sending them back today.
  • Hard to believe I’ve got a 5th and 3rd grader.
  • We have a growing CrossPointe presence at their school with other families from the church. Praying that God might use us to have a collective impact there.
  • Thanks for reading!

What is Grace?

Grace…unconditional acceptance granted to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver

– Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised by Grace

Truth is Both Frightening and Freeing

As you read through the gospels it is fascinating to see the reactions people had to Jesus and his teachings. One of the most intriguing to me occurs in John 18, right before Jesus is crucified. In this encounter, Jesus is talking with Pilate and he says in verse 37,You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.

Then Pilate responds,What is truth?

This is not just a question for back then, but is an ever pressing question now. What is truth? How can we be so sure? How can Christianity claim to be the truth? These and many more are definitely valid questions. They are questions we take seriously at CrossPointe. I hope this continues to characterize us as a church. That we are welcoming to those with doubts, questions and fears.

But there is something in this passage that stands out to me, and something I think we all need to hear. Pilate goes philosophical when he is confronted with the very personal Jesus. I’m not so sure Pilate really even desires an answer to his question. I think he’s hiding behind the question. Fearful of the implications for his life if he were to declare Jesus the true and right king. I’m actually quite sympathetic to Pilate at this point. Seriously, think about it for a moment from Pilate’s perspective. He has everything. He has power. He has money. He has social standing. Yet if he would embrace Jesus as the true king, what does that do to his standing? His identity would begin to crumble. His perceived sense of security would be shattered. I believe this is why so many today go philosophical with the questions about Christianity. We get afraid of what it would look like to actually let Jesus rule and reign in our lives. We like being king. We like building our identity on our achievements…particularly if you have had some “success” in this world. We can’t imagine living any other way.

After this question Pilate goes back out to the angry crowd and professes that he finds no blame in Jesus. It’s like he doesn’t want to embrace Jesus but he also doesn’t mind him. This is very popular today. Let’s just keep him around. We like a Jesus we can sort of dabble with. It’s the proclaiming him king that we don’t want to deal with. 

I believe the key to discovering truth is to realize this is our story. We want to be king. We want to rule and reign. Here’s the kicker…we like Pilate are not passive observers, but we sent Jesus to his death. I don’t like to think about that, but it’s true. Yet the beauty of the truth of Christianity is that Jesus went willingly in our place. Until we see that, until we encounter that experientially, we will always default to rationalistic, philosophical questions.
Truth is much more than philosophical, though it includes that, it is also personal. It is embodied in the person and work of Jesus. When Jesus declared in John 14:6 that he is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one gets to the Father but through Him, he was showing us both the exclusivity of Christianity but also it’s inclusivity. Why the inclusivity? Because he is truth embodied and that truth went and died in our place, regardless of what we’ve done, to offer us grace and forgiveness. No other “truth” out there can offer us that. No philosophical system or other religion has a God who actually becomes one of us and suffers for us in our place. So yes we embrace an exclusive truth, that is also radically inclusive, a truth we know cognitively and experientially as Jesus.

At CrossPointe this is what we want so desperately for people to get – not to win any arguments, but so that people will find the one Truth that will bring the freedom we all desire.

God is using the different people, the contrasting personalities, in your church to change your heart. He’s using the difficult people, the annoying people, the sinful people. He’s placed you together so you can rub off each other’s rough edges. It’s as if God has put us, like rocks, into a bag and is shaking us about so that we collide with one another. Sometimes sparks fly, but gradually we become beautiful, smooth gemstones. Remember the next time someone is rubbing you the wrong way that God is smoothing you down! God has given you that person in his love as a gift to make you holy.

Tim Chester, You Can Change

To hold our picture of redemption out to God and say “Save me like this” doesn’t require nearly as much faith as saying, “I know you’re good. Save me like you want to.” So we stand at a crossroads, and here is our dilemma: God is unseen while present circumstances stare us in the face and our fears are palpable.

Mike Wilkerson, Redemption

It is ironic, but it is no coincidence. Shalom, the order of creation, collapsed in Eden when humans wanted the impossible promotion: to become gods. Shalom’s repair is achieved by reversing the process, with the improbable demotion when God becomes human.

Nathan Bierma, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth