George

George Washington (GW) is often a name and face that most everyone knows but we don’t often think of him as a real person. He looks anything but manly on the dollar bill, with his powdered hair and lace trimmed shirt, but GW was considered the manliest man most had ever seen and he was 6′ 2″!! His military career began with his involvement with the Virginia militia, including a notorious mission he undertook to deliver a message to the French in the Ohio Valley. Several years later, he was given command of the Virginia militia forces due to his heroism. He resigned in 1758 and returned to his home, Mount Vernon. He married a rich widow, Martha Custis, later that year.

GW was born into a mildly prosperous Virginia farming family in 1732. After his father died when George was eleven, George’s mother, Mary, a tough and driven woman, struggled to hold their home together with the help of her two sons from a previous marriage. Although he never received more than an elementary school education, young George displayed a gift for mathematics. This knack for numbers combined with his quiet confidence and ambition caught the attention of Lord Fairfax, head of one of the most powerful families in Virginia.

While Washington focused on his farming for the next few years, he also became involved in politics.  He was elected as the first
president of the United States in 1789. GW laid the foundations for the role of a president during his first term; he served a second
term. He refused a third term, and retired to Mount Vernon in 1797; he died two years later.

A lifelong church goer, GW believed that God had a special purpose for his life. His charity towards others is also well documented.   Before leaving his estate in Mount Vernon he was quoted “Let the hospitality of house with respect to the poor be kept up. Let no one go hungry away…..provided it does not encourage them in idleness.” (Interesting quote, esp. in light of the current administration)

GW could have became a king, there was talk of naming him the King or dictator of America. The liberty of millions depending on one man. He knew there was something even greater than power. He gave up a sure thing to do the right thing, and today he is deservedly regarded to be one of the greatest heroes in the history of the world.

Shared by Doug Ross

Next week William Wilberforce

"A Seven Men" Man

First of all, thank-you for your prayers and concerns for my daughter Emma.  After a driveway mishap, she seemed OK, but vomited around midnight. Missy took her Pinnacle, where they performed a CT scan. She called back around 330 AM and said they’re taking her, by ambulance, to Hershey Med. with a skull fracture! Those word reverberated in my head, What does this mean?, What will they do? How bad is it?  Lord, be with her, heal her.

We’re thankful to have such a ‘world-class’ hospital/trauma centerjust minutes from our house.  We’re also thankful that she did not, seemingly, have any memory or cognitive (thinking) issues. Emma returned to school today (Monday) and even resumed her piano lessons. Life can be so fragile, yet resilient, all in one. Thank-you God for protecting my little girl.

I was given this book “Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness” at Christmas and it’s my kind of book. Not so much because of the content, which is great, but because it’s an ‘easy read’. Each brief biography about 20 pages long. I tried writing a summary synopsis of each chapter but I was gridlocked, so I ‘borrowed’ bits and pieces from the internet, giving credit where credit is due.  I hope you enjoy and learn from these great men of faith.

Author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely known–but not well understood–Christian men, each of whom uniquely showcases a commitment to live by certain virtues in the truth of the gospel.

Written in a beautiful and engaging style, “Seven Men” addresses what it means (or should mean) to be a man today, at a time when media and popular culture present images of masculinity that are not the picture presented in Scripture and historic civil life. What does it take to be a true exemplar as a father, brother, husband, leader, coach,
counselor, change agent, and wise man? What does it mean to stand for honesty, courage, and charity, especially at times when the culture and the world run counter to those values? Each of the seven biographies represents the life of a man who experienced the struggles and challenges to be strong in the face of forces and circumstances that would have destroyed the resolve of lesser men. Each of the seven men profiled–George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson–call the reader to a more elevated walk and lifestyle, one that embodies the gospel in the world around us.  goodreads.com

Hijacked!!

The cross effect blog has been respectfully ‘hi-jacked’ for the next 8
weeks as Mr. Chad takes his spring break. Those teachers, they get all
the perks!

In the next 7 weeks, we’ll be previewing a book, chapter by chapter,
titled “7 Men and the Secret of their Greatness” by Eric Metaxas.
Each week I will unveil the next great man.  I hope you enjoy reading
about some of Christianity’s most courageous figures.

But first, a few words on how we can prepare to fight, especially with
the onset of warmer weather.  We all need to vigilant in the area of
sexual purity but as the weather warms and the layers of womens’
clothing become less, we need to be extra vigilant. Let’s prepare now
as this battle is imminent. Whether you choose to ‘bounce’ your eyes
or you have made a covenant with our Heavenly Father, lets all be
prepared to fight.

Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

We know that sin can be very attractive and, at times, downright
intoxicating.  But the damage lasts a lot longer than any stolen
moment of pleasure.  Sexual sin distorts your thinking, defiles your
body, disrupts your relationships and defeats your testimony. As P Dan
recently preached on; would we take that lustful look at someone or
screen if Jesus was standing behind us?

Lets all live for Jesus, doing the right thing today, then do the same tomorrow!

Shared by: Doug Ross

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

I’m sitting here thinking of how in less than 24 hours it’s the time when the weekly Cross Effect blog post is typically released and I’ve yet to write anything, nor have any real topic in mind.  Is busyness an excuse?  There is certainly some validity to this considering the fact I’m currently spending several hours a week meeting the requirements of Fight Club. Yet, I do not feel I can use that as an excuse.  I’ve wrestled for the last several days with the thought of changing the posts to bi-weekly for a while until after Fight Club, maybe this will happen… maybe not.

There is a lesson in all this, a reason I’ve named this this post “Ain’t nobody got time for that”   We are all busy.  Some more than others, but our busyness is almost always self-imposed.   We tend to set our schedule and then try to find time to squeeze God in.  I’m thinking it should probably be the other way around, but for most of us it probably isn’t. Ultimately, we make ourselves so busy it is hard to find time for uninterrupted, quiet time with God.

We know how we start to feel when we neglect the most important relationship in our life. In my busyness, recently I’ve begun learning how to establish boundaries and set time aside for various aspects of my life…. i.e. when it is time to do something… I do only that.  On the flip side, I’ve been learning how to combine things.  Mainly, how to invite God into my life as I do other things.  Not that I should ever exclude him out, or that He should ever be secondary to anything I’m doing…. it’s just that often times I waste my thoughts as my mind wanders aimlessly.

So what times throughout your day could you do something yet make that time intentional in assuring you are focusing on God?  An example of this is that I’ve now dedicated my 17 minute drive to work as time that I focus on God in prayer and reflection.  It’s not much but instead of thinking about work or challenges in life… I dedicate this as time with God.  This is my practical challenge to you for this week:  Is there a time you can dedicate to set aside as a time that you’ll focus on the Lord?  What about when you exercise, do dishes, shower,,,, etc.  Think about it.   Dedicate it and grow in relation.  Blessed is Best!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

What's in Your Wallet

A series of popular Capital One credit card commercials were based on the popular catchphrase of “What’s in your wallet.”   It’s likely you remember them since they played for years and could be somewhat entertaining.  The point of the commercials was that there were often times things hidden from us which had an impact on us, yet we had no idea.  The commercials challenged us to look at these things and see if they were causing harm or damage.  The assumption was that people never paid attention to the details and specifics of their agreement with their credit card company, instead focusing on just the fact that they “get.”

In a metaphorical twist I’ll rephrase the question… “What’s in your heart?  Do you take the time to read the fine print?  Are there things in your life that are having a hidden impact on your life yet you are either unaware or just ignore?   Chances are there may be many things in your life… there are certainly many things in mine.  An unawareness or ignoring of them does not change the significance of their impact, and as with the point of the credit card commercials, if we knew how damaging they were we’d want to change.

We participated in a cool activity yesterday in church that got me thinking about all of this. Near the end of service everyone was asked to grab a stone off the the stage and write something on it something that they needed to let go of in their life.  It was powerful to have  200 people participate in this activity.  Our further instructions were to take that stone sometime in the near future and throw it somewhere in which it would never be found again such as to the bottom of a lake or pond.  I personally could have used a few more stones as my greatest challenge seemed to be narrowing it down to just one thing.

We can’t know “What’s in our wallet” if we don’t take time to look… We can’t know “What’s in our heart” if we don’t humble ourselves before God and ask that He reveal the hidden things to us.  A failure to do this is rooted in pride, essentially a love for oneself.  I challenge you to ask God to continually reveal to you the hidden things of your heart that are causing separation between you and God.  These hidden things keep us from truly experiencing Him at a level that deep inside we desire, even if we don’t recognize this desire.  Blessed is Best!!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10