- Congregational Renewal (0)April 23, 2013“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that bytesting you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:2“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,our inner self is being renewed day by day.”2 Corinthians 4:6
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about my upcoming sabbatical which starts on April 28th, for
which I am extremely enthusiastically grateful. We will be having a formal “Send Off” during the
service on the final Sunday of this month. Keith, the elders, and I have been working on a plan for
covering my responsibilities and feel good about where it stands. Keith will do a majority of the
preaching, but we will have CCC people preaching as well, along with a few guests. A critical part of
this sabbatical experience is not just pastoral renewal but congregational renewal. As part of my
application to the Lilly Endowment, I had to give careful thought to the importance of how the
congregation can be renewed as I am away being renewed on my sabbatical. Some might argue
that my three-month absence will be sufficient enough to renew the church!
There are two major initiatives for which I am planning for congregational renewal:
1. Renewal Seminar entitled “How to Teach the Bible” – Dr. Zack Eswine,
former Professor at Covenant Theological Seminary and current Pastor at
Riverside Church in Saint Louis, will lead us in a weekend of gospel renewal
on the weekend of August 10-11. He will lead a seminar on Saturday from
9:00AM to 12:30PM focused on equipping parents, teachers, and believers
with how to study the Word of God. He will have three different sessions
during this seminar, all of which are intended to help us fall more in love
with the Word and more passionate about communicating it to others.
Childcare and a continental breakfast will be provided, free of charge to all
who participate. This event will be open to Crossroads people only.
2. Renewal Reading — We live in an age when there are many gospel-rich
resources available to us, what a blessing! I am purchasing 15 copies of 10
different books which have brought renewal in my own life and ministry.
These books will be made available to you free of charge, paid for by a
portion of the grant. I encourage you to prayerfully look over the books,
and then choose one copy to read during the next three months. Inserted
in the book will be some basic instructions for how to make this reading a
time of gospel renewal for you in your walk with Christ. Once you
complete your reading, we will ask you to submit a short written summary
online of what God taught you.
My sincere prayer is that while my family and I are being renewed by the Lord away on sabbatical,
you will be renewed corporately through these two initiatives. May God make it so!
- Reflections on this week.. (0)July 1, 2011As with any Mission Trip where God has called His people to serve a special need, our group of 17 has viewed life that is completely foreign to them. in many ways, New Orleans is just another metropolitan city in the U.S. People working, tourists visiting to see the sights, restaurants serving, businesses doing what needs to be done.But in the places we have been this week, it is oddly strange. While we could not witness the initial destruction caused by the flooding during The Storm, the aftermath 6 years later is an odd monument to the inability of people to cope or care about rebuilding. Homes completely overgrown by vegatation, streets still in major need of repair, construction crews (large and small) moving from one project to another in a seemingly endless amount of work yet to be done. It can be overwheming to think any of us may have made a difference this week.As I look back at this week, I see the love of God working through us to touch someone in need. Whether it be the administrative folks at Arise Academy, the kids we talked with during a few breaks at the school, Derrick Floyd’s family, or simply talking with one another throughout the day, we have experienced God in our everyday lives. For that, this trip was certainly worth every drop of sweat, every aching muscle, and every new knowledge we gained about the kingdom of God. Oh that this would continue for each of us when we return to Crossroads.This trip has been filled with great times together. Bridget’s continual bubbly laughter and dancing, Blake’s endless reading of seemingly useless facts from his iphone, an endless supply of knock, knock and blonde jokes, absolutely no complaining, discussions on our daily devotions, and work, work, work. I admire the stamina of our young people to persevere through the intense heat and humidity. And we would not have finished what we did without Dan, Will, Wendy and Vic working so hard every day at the Floyd house. And everyone had a skill that they used to complete the team. Wow, that almost sounds like Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:14, ”For the body does not consist of one member, but of many.” So we were many, but we were one at the same time. Working together, eating together, laughing together, and living together. and through it all God was at the center and in control. What an awesome God we serve, and what a privelege to serve Him.To God be the glory!-Bob
- The Work Continues… (0)June 30, 2011
On thursday, half of our team continued their work on the Floyd’s house. While it seems to be slow at time, good progress continues to be made. Driving around New Orleans, there is a real sense that the work to be done is overwhelming. And though New Orleans will look much the same after we leave, we know that we have made a real difference in the life of one family. The homeowner, Derrick Floyd, has a broken back and has purchased this home to help his parents. Derrick has been so wonderful and gracious to our team – we have known him for just a few days, but we will remember him long after we are gone. Please pray for the Floyd family and his neighborhood.
- Prayer For the Children of New Orleans (0)June 30, 2011For the most part, the public schools have failed them. They are moving to Charter schools.We have been working at Arise Charter school of New Orleans. A very appropriate name as they need a resurrection which only Christ can provide.Our work consists of cataloging books, moving books, shelving, desks and organizing supplies. This is work that the administrative staff would normally do,so with our help they will be able to focus on the job of educating the kids.A staff member told us their school was the worst in New Orleans and New Orleans has the worst school system in the nation. Many of these children are homeless. The school is the only security they have and provide the only two meals they are assured of.Last year 50% of the 3rd grade in the school failed the state test. This year most of these kids passed through the hard work of the school staff.Pray for the kids of New Orleans that the light of the gospel will reach them.-Tony Burch
- Day 3 (0)June 29, 2011
Today we continued scraping and priming the house, getting it ready for painting. We have been making steady progress. There is nothing like painting in 98 degree weather with a heat index of 110!
The Floyd’s provided lunch for us on the job site. We had red beans and rice, cajun chicken, and smoked sausage. As usual, Blake enjoyed his meal!
Here is a picture of Fats Domino’s house in the Lower 9th Ward…
I’ve got no time for talkin’
I’ve got no time for walkin’
New Orleans is my home
That’s the reason I’m gone
Yes, I’m walkin’ to New Orleans!
-Fats Domino in Walkin’ to New Orleans
After work, we toured the Lower 9th Ward. It was remarkable how much work and rehab has gone on in the past 5+ years. This is a picture of where the levee broke during Katrina.
Here are a few pictures of some of the new houses in the 9th Ward
STORY TIME WITH BOB
For Dinner we drove to the North Shore of Lake Ponchartrain for dinner. My grandmother was able to join us as we ate at Friend’s on the Tchefuncta River.