Archive for February, 2007


Bragging About My Baby Girl

I am so proud of my daughter. She and several other CrossPoint girls competed in the Miss Pinson Valley High School Beauty Pageant last Saturday night.

For the fathers who do not have a daughter, you do not know what kind of blessing you are missing. Yes, beauty pageants cost a lot of time and money, but when your daughter graces the stage with her presence it is worth all the effort and expense that goes into it.

There are three specific reasons as to why I am so proud of my baby girl. First, I am proud she finished first runner up as the 9th grade beauty. Second, I am proud of her witness for Christ. Kelsey, along with several other CrossPoint girls expressed their commitment to Christ when they were introduced. Third, I am proud of Kelsey because she is so inwardly beautiful, and that is what makes her so outwardly attractive.

Kelsey gets her inward beauty from her mother. Vonda has done an incredible job instilling in Kelsey the inner confidence she needs to be secure in Christ. At age 14 Kelsey already realizes her true identity and worth are found entirely in Christ. My daughter is secure in herself, because she is so secure in Christ.

While discussing Kelsey’s inward beauty the other night I said to Vonda, “There is a young man out there that is going to marry my duaghter some day. And when he does, he will be the most fortunate man alive, because my girl is just that special.”
Thank you for letting me brag about my girl. She is special.
I would be thoughtless if I did not commend Casey Wooten, Anna Smith (Miss Photogenic) and Haley Bryan (9th Grade Beauty Queen) for their beauty and witness last weekend also. These girls represented CrossPoint and Christ in a beautiful manner. Congratulations girls!

Ministry Links

Today I am adding a host of ministry links that I think may be of service to you. Periodically I may add some other webpages. These are some basic links that I occasionally visit in order to remain informed about the news of the Christian world.
    • For the Southern Baptist Convention click here:
    • To read about the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention click
    • To keep up with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention click
    • For some good Christian reading and resources click
    • For other gospel communications I read
    • World Net Daily is a powerful resource for keeping up with the world at large. You will find this resource at
    • I often read to stay attuned to Baptist news.
Sometime in the future I will add some other links. At this time however, I think it is always good to have these links listed as favorites. I find each one of these resources to be a great tool of research and reading. I hope they will help you as well. From now on, you will be able to find these to the right of the page labeled “Ministry Links“.

Amazing Grace

For those of you who were in worship yesterday, you heard me refer to the movie Amazing Grace. I strongly recommend you see this movie. It is a powerful portrayal of William Wilberforce’s role in abolishing slavery in England.

If my recommendation does not convince you to see the movie, then I encourage you to click here and watch the movie trailer.

When you watch the movie, the pastor Wilberforce visits is John Newton. As you know, Newton is the slave trader who was converted on the high seas, and who later wrote the great hymn “Amazing Grace”.
There are many memorable moments in the movie. You must listen closely to appreciate some of the humorous moments. Perhaps the most emotional part of the movie is at the end when John Newton attends the session where parliament abolishes slavery. His blind eyes are filled with tears as the British leaders cast their votes. That is followed by a powerful presentation of the hymn, starting with bagpipes and ending with a full instrumental piece.
Again, I would not attend the movie for entertainment purposes. And, there are moments you must certainly concentrate in order to keep up with the timeline. However, I do recommend the movie to each of you.

Christianity Today provides a great accounting of Wilberforce’s life. Click here to read the article.

By the way, the Reformed Reader has a great piece on John Newton. Click here to read more about his story.

Again, I highly recommend the movie Amazing Grace. If anything, it will cause you to give thanks for your salvation through Jesus Christ. It may also inspire you to give thanks for men like Newton, Clarkson and Wilberforce who literally changed the history of mankind because of their convictions.

Silver ADDY Award

CrossPoint was the recent recipient of an advertisement award. We were presented the 2006 – 2007 Silver ADDY Award during the Forty-Ninth Birmingham ADDY Awards last weekend. Actually, it was not CrossPoint that won the award as much as it was some of our CrossPointers, Robert and Stephanie Holland, who own Holland & Holland Advertising. Holland and Holland were noted as the entrant and CrossPoint was noted as the advertiser.

We won the Out-of-Home, Site, Interior medal for our JUST ONE MORE banners. These are the banners we have periodically displayed in the worship center, above the stage. Because our CONNECT process is now in that place, we will hang the banners above the Information Desk. The silver medallion is really cool, and it is heavy. I plan to show it at the end of worship next weekend.

I think this is another distinction of how CrossPoint is making herself known in the city of Birmingham. Holland and Holland help us with all of our displays, and now you know why each display is so impressive. Stephanie Holland, Jason Edwards and the rest of the Holland and Holland team serve CrossPoint well.

Below is a sample of the banners that won the Silver ADDY Award:

(click on image for larger view)

The next time you see Stephanie or Robert, please express your gratitude to them for their service, and for their creative effort which makes CrossPoint shine in her community.


Man Claims to Be God

So, have you read about the man who claims to be God? Newsweek published an interesting piece about this charlatan last week. Also, last week CNN’S Anderson Cooper presented a brief clip about the pretender.

In short, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, the man who thinks he is God, is the head of Growing in Grace International Ministry. At the time of this writing, his organization includes 300 congregations with more than 100,000 followers in two-dozen countries.

So what does he profess? He says, “Jesus came to me and integrated with me.” Just so you will know how out of touch this man is, he professed he was the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul in 1988. If that is not spooky enough, he teaches under a new covenant with God where there is no sin and no Satan, and people are pre-destined to be saved.

For a better understanding click here:

There are some real nut jobs living in our age. I met a man like this years ago in Mississippi. The only difference between Miranda and the man from Mississippi was that the man I met was locked down in the psychiatric ward of the hospital. (By the way, you should have seen his face when I asked, “If you are Jesus then where are your disciples?”) After reading more about this man, I firmly settled on three observations.

First, when we encounter news like this we should immediately ask “what does the Bible say about this man’s claim to be ‘integrated’ with Jesus”?

The Bible records Jesus as saying,

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its
light; the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Matthew 24:26-31

Second, this should not surprise us. Again, more than 2000 years ago Jesus warned us about these kinds of reports, when He said:

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Matthew 24:3-5

Third, we should not be quick to discount these kinds of things, because they tell us more than we want to admit. Yes, we should definitely discount the man and his blasphemous claims, but what does this say about the people who follow this basket case? This man has 100,000 followers! Hello! This should tell us something. It tells people are searching for answers; and we as the church, have the responsibility to tell them THE ANSWER.

Kudos to CrossPoint!

Last fall the CrossPoint Foundation hosted the Fifth Annual CrossPoint 5K. Several key businesses from our church and community sponsored the event. The sponsorships went toward the purchase of a new refrigerator truck for a homeless ministry in the Birmingham area.

A few weeks after the race we invited Pastor Roland Walker to join us for worship. Since he, too, is a pastor, he was only able to join us for the last worship. It was during that worship hour we presented him with a check for $5000. For those of you in that particular worship that day, you recall how warm of a response Pastor Roland gave us. It was a good day for Pastor Roland, and it was a better day for us.

The very next week, Tim Gordon, a CrossPointer and the Sales Manager for Freightliner of Birmingham, contacted Pastor Roland to suggest how his company could help him secure a truck for a very good price. From there the ball started rolling, and just a few weeks ago, Pastor Roland and his ministry purchased a 20 foot refrigerator truck.

I am providing some great photos of the new truck we were able to help Pastor Roland purchase. Our contribution was enough to secure half the purchase price. The photo of Pastor Roland opening the back door of the truck was made because he wanted people to see what he would be doing with the vehicle—opening the door and feeding the homeless.

Great job CrossPoint, great job!

10,000 Hallelujahs!

Wow, what an incredible day we had at CrossPoint today. I do not know the final numbers, but if the 8:15 AM crowd is any indication of our total attendance, we certainly set a new, all-time record. Steve Parr confirmed for me before we left the campus that we had 600+ adults in Bible study. That record, alone, will push us close to 1000.

I am so proud of you for CONNECTING WITH GOD and then for CONNECTING WITH GOD’S PEOPLE this morning. Those are the first two steps toward living the disciple-oriented life in Christ. Of course, the third and fourth steps include CONNECTING WITH GOD’S PLAN and then helping JUST ONE MORE to find a way to CONNECT.

So, tell me what you think of the new building? Do you like it? What about the new classrooms; are they big enough for you? It is an awesome facility, isn’t it? What did you think of the new gathering area? I hear we will have a brand new coffee bar set up there very, very soon.

I am also curious to hear about the new way we have exiting the worship center. We are doing that to relieve some of the major congestion we are experiencing at the front entrance.

Seriously, give me your judgment of the day. I want to know what you think.