We Endure

WE ENDURE through any struggle we face. Jesus overcame the world so when things are hard, we push through. When we get knocked down, we get back up again.

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    - This is us. It's who we are.
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    We're not an institution. We are a movement.
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    And we're not just playing church
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    and we are not backing down.
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    That's what Alli is going to be talking about today,
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    about how we endure.
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    I'm Andy, the Anywhere community pastor,
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    and I want to help you get connected with Crossroads
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    no matter where you live.
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    We have nine physical locations
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    and a community meeting online and all over the place
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    in homes, dorm rooms, restaurants,
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    bars all over the world.
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    And we have tons of great opportunities for you
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    to connect at Crossroads.net/Anywhere.
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    Or you can even chat in with us at any time
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    during the service using the chat button
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    in the lower right corner.
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    Now, I know for me, at some of
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    the most difficult times in my life
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    when I've had to endure, times when I've lost family members,
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    times when I've had to process how is God good
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    even in the midst of this?
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    Songs have actually been a really helpful tool for me.
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    A really helpful tool for me to remember
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    who God says that I am and who God says that He is.
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    These songs are a way for us to turn our attention towards God,
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    and no matter what we're going through,
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    remember His goodness and faithfulness.
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    - If we've never met, my name is Justin
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    and I'm one of the music folks around here,
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    one of the pastors around here.
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    And I don't know if you walked in this space
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    for the first time or joining us online for the first time,
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    but if you're online, maybe you saw my buddy Andy
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    kind of welcome you.
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    And Andy's one of the smiliest, I think that's a word.
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    Like, he's one of the kindest people I know.
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    And if you walked into this room,
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    then maybe you interacted with, like, five people
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    who just were smiling when you came in today
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    and they handed you a cup of coffee
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    or they opened the door for you,
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    and maybe you hear that song that we just sang
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    and add that to those smiles and you're like,
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    "Do you all not experience pain?
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    Like, are you all just like butterflies and daisies
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    and you're just living in the clouds?"
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    Do you know there's a whole book in the Bible called grieving?
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    My buddy said it's called whining.
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    It's not really called whining, but there's
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    a whole book in the Bible called Lamentations.
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    Lament, a whole book about grieving, a whole book
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    that teaches us to bring the depths of our pain
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    into the presence of God.
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    And in the midst of lament, grieving,
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    these words the writer writes:
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    The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
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    His mercies never come to an end.
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    They are new every morning.
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    Great is Your faithfulness.
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    And then we just got done singing to our souls,
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    which maybe to you is a little weird, but
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    it's not because we say to the depths of my being,
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    say, no matter what you face, I want you to know this.
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    And he says, "This I say to my soul,
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    the Lord is my portion.
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    Therefore I will hope in Him."
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    There is a space for pain and grieving and lament.
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    It's been all of our news feeds this week.
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    Maybe it's been you personally.
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    And thousands and thousands of years old
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    is this ancient truth and tradition that
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    there's a space for that
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    and that there's a God who meets us there.
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    And so this passage is a couple thousand years old
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    that says in lament great is His faithfulness.
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    There was a song that I grew up singing
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    because I grew up in church.
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    My mama took me there often.
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    We grew up singing this old song that's 100 years old today.
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    In 1923, this song was written
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    called Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
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    Sharday, would you lead us in it?
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    Sharday, we're talking about it, you said
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    you grew up singing this in your grandmother's church.
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    - Yes. My grandmother's old Baptist church
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    in southern Alabama, Great is Thy Faithfulness.
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    - This is nothing new.
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    This is thousands of years and 100 years old.
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    But it is true. That's the line we walked in.
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    - He's more than a story.
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    - The next verses of that scripture
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    they say the Lord is good to those who seek Him.
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    I don't know about your day,
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    but my day has not felt like this moment.
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    Anybody else? Can I get an amen?
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    Like, I don't walk around with a piano player
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    who can just play softly, and a guitar player
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    who could, like, make some swells.
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    I don't know if you do.
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    If you do, super cool. I'd love to get in on that.
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    God's the only one
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    who is faithful through all the generations.
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    And He's good to those who seek Him.
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    I think you came here seeking Him
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    and just have some space with Him. Just take a moment.
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    - You're worthy, Jesus, and we thank You
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    for this beautiful moment and this beautiful reminder
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    of who You are in the midst of our lives.
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    You're worthy and that's why we sing to You.
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    It's in Your Son's name, we pray. Amen.
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    - The Story of God told through the land of Israel
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    is written in the pages of Scripture
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    and carved by the very finger of God into the land itself.
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    Join us on a journey to discover your spiritual roots.
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    Uncover the six essential elements of identity
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    deep within you, revealed through the life of King David
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    and perfected in the life of Jesus.
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    The fourth season of Real Encounters with God: Downline.
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    All new on location in Israel.
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    New places, new encounters, real encounters with God.
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    - I am looking so forward to that series starts next week.
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    I think and hope you are as well.
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    And as fate or as God would have it, that series
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    is happening at the perfect time because
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    on all of our minds is what's taking place in Israel.
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    It's horrible. It's awful.
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    When people come across your borders
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    and senselessly kill and hurt people
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    inside of your country who are, by the way,
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    both Israelis and Palestinians.
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    I've been over to Israel about 15 times.
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    Anybody who tells you it's a simple problem
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    has not been over there and interacted with the folks.
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    It's not simple.
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    It's hard to describe it in a way
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    that doesn't have to be caveated.
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    But there's a bunch of people inside of Israel's borders
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    who are hurt by this, and it is heartbreaking.
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    It's atrocious.
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    Last number I heard was 1300 confirmed death.
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    That's the last I heard.
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    That's like in America with our population base,
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    45,000 Americans losing their life.
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    We were shocked and rocked when we had 3000 people
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    lost in the 911 tragedy.
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    We're talking about 3200 plus people
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    who are seriously injured,
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    which is like 112,000 people in America
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    having that kind of stuff.
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    200 people, last I heard, were jammed in tunnels
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    underneath Gaza and were being held as hostages,
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    likely tortured. Not good stuff is happening there.
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    And our heart is breaking
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    and we're going to be praying about that.
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    But we're also, so you know,
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    your church right now is working on this.
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    We have a partnership with an organization
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    called Convoy of Hope.
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    We do a lot of stuff with them in these situations.
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    We released a convoy $100,000.
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    That $100,000 is going to go into supplies
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    that are bought to help the economy in Israel,
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    and then is going to impact the comforting
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    and helping of 20,000 people.
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    That's part of what we're doing.
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    And we are also praying, and I want to pray right now,
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    but I want us to have an extra awareness.
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    We have a connection here.
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    One of the guys who's in our Real Encounters video series,
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    Tsuriel, I like to call him Turell.
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    That's my nickname for him.
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    Tsuriel is a pretty intense guy.
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    He's with the IDF.
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    He was actually in the in the Special forces with the IDF,
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    which means that he's one of the very few people
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    in Israel who can carry 24/7.
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    It's nice to have him as your guide, I'll just say that.
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    And he got called up and he sent me,
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    sent us this email for us to pray.
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    I'll just read it to you because I think it speaks for itself.
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    Here's what he says:
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    Psalm 122:6 tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
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    It's a good thing to pray for all of the things
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    that are happening internationally,
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    all of the conflicts. That's good. That's fine.
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    But this is the one thing that we're actually commanded
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    as believers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem,
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    that multinational ethnic city.
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    We need to not just think about it and debate about it,
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    we need to pray for it.
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    So we're going to pray right now.
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    God, I'm asking that You would bring a grace
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    upon that city of Jerusalem, upon the region
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    in which that city is, a peace that passes understanding.
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    We don't understand how these awful things happen,
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    and we want to come to a place
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    where we don't understand how things just got better.
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    There's a lot of warriors are on the ground
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    who are trying to make it right.
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    We're asking You to make it right.
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    Bring the X factor of Your presence.
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    I pray that You would be with those folks
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    in a powerful way who are rescuing,
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    who are nurturing, who are holding.
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    I pray for the emotional trauma and recovery
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    of people who have seen loved ones killed before their eyes,
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    and are now dealing with someone
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    who's being gone from their life.
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    I pray, God, that You would somehow bring peace
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    between all of these warring factions in the Middle East.
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    Jesus, You are a Savior.
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    I pray not just that You would save the oppressed,
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    but I pray you would save us
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    from our violent ways towards each other.
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    Do something in that region that we don't understand.
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    Pour your grace on it and bring people to You, Jesus.
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    Help people see You as the way, as the Savior that you are.
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    Have Your way rule,
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    and I pray these things in the name of Jesus.
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    - Like I said earlier, no matter where you live,
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    whether you're close to one of our locations
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    or a part of a Anywhere community all over the world,
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    there are ways for you to get connected
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    and get involved with Crossroads.
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    And the best way to do that is to download
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    the Crossroads Anywhere app, enter your location
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    and click on happenings.
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    You'll see specific custom
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    location-based opportunities just for you.
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    The app has great content, articles, messages,
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    videos, music and more, but honestly,
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    that's not what I love the most about it.
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    The internet is full of great content.
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    What I love the most about the app is that
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    it can help us connect with God and each other.
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    It's one of the few apps that actually gives me something,
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    and I feel like doesn't take something from me.
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    Now did you know in the last month
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    there were over 333,000 prayers prayed
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    just in the Crossroads app? It's amazing.
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    In the app, you can share ways that you need God
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    to show up and the entire community can rally around you.
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    It's actually what I want to do right now.
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    I was actually looking in the Crossroads app earlier today,
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    and I saw a prayer that I want to highlight.
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    Michelle C. put her prayer request up in the app,
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    but a few weeks ago she was at Woman Camp,
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    building friendships with people all over the country.
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    But this week, due to a preexisting medical condition,
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    she found out that she has cirrhosis of her liver
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    and will likely need a transplant.
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    So, I want you to join with me in praying
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    for this woman who needs help, is just in her 30s
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    and is an on an organ transplant list.
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    So, would you join with me in praying for Michelle right now?
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    God, we have seen You move powerfully through prayer
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    from the pages of the Bible to our own lived experiences
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    we have seen You heal people, and we ask
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    that You would move powerfully
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    and do that for Michelle right now.
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    God, restore her body to function
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    exactly as You designed it and intended.
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    In Your name and according to Your character
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    as a good father who heals. Amen.
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    Seriously guys, download the Crossroads Anywhere app
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    and connect to a community
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    that regularly sees God move through prayer.
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    Now, last week Brian talked about how we sacrifice
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    and if you missed it,
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    just make sure you check it out. It's awesome.
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    But one of the ways that we actually
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    sacrifice as a church is through giving.
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    We know it's not easy to set money aside
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    that could go to all kinds of other things,
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    but instead to say to God, "I'm gonna put You first
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    in my life, and that includes my finances."
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    I would be driving a better car
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    if I did not give to Crossroads, not an 18 year old 4Runner, no.
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    We give because we think it's important,
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    because we know that God shows up faithfully.
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    So that's a strong challenge and not something
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    that I want you to take lightly.
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    If you're newer to church and still figuring out
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    what you believe about God or finances, hey, no stress.
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    But we're so confident that giving is a spiritual practice.
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    And if you, man, if you lean in,
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    you will experience God showing up.
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    It's literally a money back guarantee,
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    w do a thing called the Tithe Test.
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    If you sign up, you get 90 days to test God in this
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    and see if He doesn't move in your life.
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    If you've got questions or want to join
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    the team of faithful givers who makes
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    all this stuff possible head to Crossroads.net/give.
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    What I want you to hear from me is we want more for you,
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    we don't want things from you.
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    Now, today we're talking about how we endure as a church.
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    And I don't know about you, but when I hear the word endure,
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    it just doesn't sound very positive, right?
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    But when we endure, there's so much goodness
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    on the other side, when we lean in,
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    when we push in, God really does meet us there.
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    These are real stories of real people
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    who have endured through the good and the bad,
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    and seen God show up.
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    - You know, one of the things that is often unsung
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    about Crossroads is people who do really gritty ministry
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    in the context of our church, recovery ministry, right?
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    People whose marriages are on the brink,
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    and people who have walked with folks
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    through life's challenges. Right?
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    Grief ministry. Right?
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    I think about how many people have been blessed
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    that don't go to Crossroads, because this was a place
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    where they could actually access what do I --
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    What does it look like to grieve healthily?
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    And so when I think about endurance,
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    I think about how many people honesty lead
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    and minister out of their brokenness,
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    because the people who do that gritty ministry are in it,
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    not as people who are at a distance,
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    but as people who have walked through it.
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    And man, there's so many lives that have been changed,
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    so many families that are still intact,
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    so many people who are literally still alive
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    because there are people in this church
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    who have been willing to endure
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    in the gritty, unsung ministry that all of that often is.
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    And so, I mean, that's a powerful part
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    of the witness of what God's doing here.
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    - And I think there's something beautiful
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    that we've all found here, we've all had to get past
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    this moment of realizing Crossroads is us,
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    and us, we ain't perfect. You know?
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    Like, we have problems
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    and you have to endure past those problems.
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    And when you do, there's something, I don't know,
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    like freeing about it.
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    There's just a unique power that I think
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    our community has because of
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    everybody enduring through all of it.
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    - That's right.
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    - It is the people behind the scenes
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    that nobody even hears about, like, one, Missy Abshire.
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    And she would write these amazing, encouraging notes.
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    And then she's been going through
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    all this health stuff recently because
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    she's been just hitting that nail for so long,
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    she's still at the coffee kiosk
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    when she can make it or whatever.
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    And I remember just recently they were like,
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    "Hey, write her an encouraging note."
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    So I wrote a note and she writes me a thank you note.
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    I was like, are you kidding me?
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    Like, those are the kinds of people that I'm like,
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    yeah, I want to be in ministry with those people.
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    - I think about Peter Zimmer who was a volunteer
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    who 15 years ago, I dressed him up as Jesus.
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    He's still here still here.
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    I just found out he wrote my wife
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    an incredible encouragement note, like, a two months ago
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    that just super blessed her.
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    And there's person after person who that same story is true for.
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    - That's so true. Chris Mackley, right?
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    Just like these behind the scenes people who,
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    man, how many kids she's invested in and Kids' Club
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    and how, I mean, just behind the scenes people
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    who are still here and still --
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    - Scott Visor running video for 28 years.
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    - 28 years.
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    - Alli Patterson. - Yes.
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    - Was your small group leader in middle school,
  • 00:34:14
    how long ago, like? - 28 years ago. - Wow.
  • 00:34:18
    - And then she led a small group that Sarah,
  • 00:34:21
    my wife, was in and she has been here.
  • 00:34:24
    Her son Luke was a small group leader for my son Ben
  • 00:34:27
    and East Side student ministry for a while.
  • 00:34:29
    There's just this, like, endurance
  • 00:34:32
    and faithfulness in her too.
  • 00:34:33
    So I just want to call that out. - She's amazing.
  • 00:34:35
    - I don't know if you all remember
  • 00:34:37
    there was this thing that happened called COVID-19.
  • 00:34:41
    As a by the way, talk about endure, this is so dumb.
  • 00:34:45
    Um, maybe two weeks before COVID started
  • 00:34:49
    I got our social media team started reporting to me. Right?
  • 00:34:52
    We got a new team, new people, and then the coronavirus hits
  • 00:34:57
    and we're like, you know, what'd be a great idea.
  • 00:34:59
    Because when it hit, everyone's panicking.
  • 00:35:01
    And in my mind it was like, "This is like the bird flu.
  • 00:35:04
    You know, everyone's upset about, it's going to be fine.
  • 00:35:07
    Relax, everybody."
  • 00:35:08
    And so we got a Corona beer and a hazmat suit,
  • 00:35:14
    and we made a video about how it was dumb
  • 00:35:15
    and it was going to go away and you shouldn't worry.
  • 00:35:18
    And it went viral in a bad way.
  • 00:35:20
    It had like a million views and 24 hours.
  • 00:35:23
    And then we realized this is the worst thing
  • 00:35:25
    we've ever made, and we took it down off the internet.
  • 00:35:27
    Anyway, we endured past that. Many people did.
  • 00:35:30
    - That was only the beginning. - That was the start of it.
  • 00:35:32
    - Of the endurance.
  • 00:35:33
    - Yeah, that was the best moment.
  • 00:35:36
    And then it got -- it just got worse and worse.
  • 00:35:39
    And, you know, I think about our church
  • 00:35:41
    who endured through so many twists and turns
  • 00:35:43
    and uncertainties and hard moments and, and all of it.
  • 00:35:48
    And I think the really amazing thing is that
  • 00:35:51
    our church has not just endured,
  • 00:35:53
    but has come back stronger
  • 00:35:56
    and not come back in the sense that we were --
  • 00:35:59
    We are who we were in 2019, but come back stronger and better.
  • 00:36:02
    We didn't go backwards, we moved forward
  • 00:36:04
    and that's just not the case around the country.
  • 00:36:07
    That's just not the common story.
  • 00:36:09
    The common story you still hear churches talk about,
  • 00:36:12
    "Hey, about half the people who were here before are here now,
  • 00:36:16
    or at best 60% who were here before, they're here now."
  • 00:36:20
    And God's done something different with us.
  • 00:36:23
    And, you know, at the end of the day, that's just His favor.
  • 00:36:26
    You don't earn that stuff. You don't --
  • 00:36:28
    You don't perform for it.
  • 00:36:31
    And I also look at it and I say, "You know,
  • 00:36:33
    if God were to look at us
  • 00:36:35
    and say, 'Hey, I want to bless you, '
  • 00:36:37
    I think it's because there's a history of endurance here
  • 00:36:40
    that we could we could do it, you know?" So.
  • 00:36:45
    - Hey, everyone, great to be with you.
  • 00:36:47
    I know, I love to hear the stories that those guys remember
  • 00:36:50
    over the last 20 something years at Crossroads.
  • 00:36:53
    I've been here, it's probably been 22 years
  • 00:36:57
    since I sat in the back row of a dark service and cried.
  • 00:37:01
    And so much of what I have seen God do
  • 00:37:04
    in our community is because I've stayed.
  • 00:37:08
    I've stayed. My name is Alli Patterson.
  • 00:37:10
    If we don't know each other,
  • 00:37:11
    I'm one of the teaching pastors here
  • 00:37:13
    and it's really great to be with you guys.
  • 00:37:15
    And today we're talking about enduring, endurance.
  • 00:37:20
    We've been exploring this unique recipe
  • 00:37:22
    of qualities that make up our community,
  • 00:37:25
    that kind of blend together to give Crossroads
  • 00:37:28
    a specific flavor, if you will.
  • 00:37:30
    Like a specific piece of the character,
  • 00:37:32
    the heart, and the mission of God.
  • 00:37:34
    And today is our last one.
  • 00:37:36
    We've gone, like, we run, we go, we sacrifice,
  • 00:37:39
    we laugh, we challenge, and today we endure.
  • 00:37:42
    We keep going, even when it gets hard.
  • 00:37:45
    Let me pray for us as we get started.
  • 00:37:47
    Lord, I know that You're here with us.
  • 00:37:52
    And I pray that every word that comes out of my mouth
  • 00:37:56
    would be helpful for others to know You better
  • 00:38:00
    and to end up coming closer to You.
  • 00:38:03
    And I ask all this in Jesus's name. Amen.
  • 00:38:07
    Well, I'll hit you
  • 00:38:08
    with my own personal definition of endurance.
  • 00:38:11
    And this isn't the dictionary definition,
  • 00:38:14
    this is the Alli definition.
  • 00:38:15
    And I think about endurance as
  • 00:38:18
    a life that can take a hit and keep moving forward.
  • 00:38:23
    And I use the words take a hit on purpose,
  • 00:38:25
    because that's how we talk to each other
  • 00:38:27
    about what life throws at us, about the difficulties,
  • 00:38:30
    pain, struggle, we say things like that.
  • 00:38:32
    We say, "Oh, she really took a hit on that one
  • 00:38:36
    or the hits just keep on coming."
  • 00:38:38
    And I was thinking about this idea of taking a hit
  • 00:38:42
    that when we have a life or when we have a faith,
  • 00:38:45
    or when we have a community that can take a hit
  • 00:38:48
    and keep moving forward, that is enduring.
  • 00:38:52
    And that's the kind of faith, the kind of life,
  • 00:38:54
    the kind of community that I want
  • 00:38:56
    and that I want to be a part of.
  • 00:38:57
    And I don't mean to suggest with that language in any way.
  • 00:39:01
    I just know we're in a big community, and I know that
  • 00:39:03
    we have every manner of different story in the room.
  • 00:39:06
    And I don't mean to suggest for a moment
  • 00:39:08
    that you should be enduring physical hits.
  • 00:39:11
    I very much am using it in the vernacular,
  • 00:39:13
    just in the regular way that we talk to each other
  • 00:39:16
    about the struggles and difficulties of life.
  • 00:39:18
    But I actually did want to feel physically
  • 00:39:23
    what it feels like to take a hit.
  • 00:39:25
    And I happen to have a friend that owns a gym.
  • 00:39:29
    And I just think sometimes experiencing something
  • 00:39:31
    in the physical can help us understand
  • 00:39:33
    more of what we need to know in the spiritual.
  • 00:39:36
    And so, just for fun, this week I went
  • 00:39:38
    and saw a friend of mine who owns a gym.
  • 00:39:40
    She actually does a little boxing for fitness.
  • 00:39:42
    She does classes at this gym and I decided to go with her
  • 00:39:46
    and see and I said, "I really want --
  • 00:39:49
    I've never had on boxing gloves.
  • 00:39:50
    I've done a little kickboxing back in the day,
  • 00:39:52
    but I've never had on boxing gloves.
  • 00:39:53
    And so can I come to a class?
  • 00:39:55
    Can I just work out with you?"
  • 00:39:57
    She was like, "Yeah, sure, come on over."
  • 00:39:58
    And so she was kind of, you know,
  • 00:40:00
    she's training me a little bit and I'm going, okay.
  • 00:40:03
    You know, my first instinct when when she first
  • 00:40:06
    started coming at me was to stiffen up, you know,
  • 00:40:10
    to, like, brace myself for her hit.
  • 00:40:11
    And when she would hit me, if I was the stiffer
  • 00:40:15
    and more rigid I was, the more I would, like,
  • 00:40:17
    lose my balance and be unable to take the hit.
  • 00:40:20
    And so when she was kind of coaching me through it,
  • 00:40:23
    especially when it was my turn to put on the pad and,
  • 00:40:25
    like, she does this all the time, right?
  • 00:40:27
    So, you know, especially when she was giving me a few hits,
  • 00:40:30
    I thought, "Oh, this is really fascinating," because
  • 00:40:32
    she kept saying things like,
  • 00:40:34
    "Yeah, you want to engage your core,
  • 00:40:36
    but you want to be able to absorb it and come right back."
  • 00:40:39
    And so she was showing me all these techniques
  • 00:40:41
    and we had a lot of fun.
  • 00:40:42
    But I walked away thinking, "Okay,
  • 00:40:45
    so I already had this definition of endurance
  • 00:40:48
    as the ability to kind of take a hit and keep going."
  • 00:40:51
    And she gave me all this other language for it,
  • 00:40:54
    you know, all this other, this other understanding of it.
  • 00:40:56
    So I left the gym thinking, "You know what?
  • 00:40:59
    There's a difference between being hard and being tough."
  • 00:41:04
    What we want and what I see
  • 00:41:07
    in our community here at Crossroads is we're tough.
  • 00:41:10
    Like, we can take a hit and keep moving.
  • 00:41:14
    And I want to have a life that can take a hit
  • 00:41:16
    and keep moving because we know it's coming, right?
  • 00:41:19
    Like, anything that you pursue over a long period of time,
  • 00:41:22
    you're going to run into some issues with,
  • 00:41:24
    I don't care if it's a job, a marriage,
  • 00:41:25
    a friendship, a career, whatever,
  • 00:41:28
    you're parenting, children, whatever you're doing
  • 00:41:30
    that's going to take a long time
  • 00:41:31
    or build over a long period of time,
  • 00:41:33
    you're going to take some hits.
  • 00:41:35
    And so what did I do when I left the gym?
  • 00:41:38
    Of course, I looked up scientifically speaking,
  • 00:41:42
    what is the difference between hard and tough?
  • 00:41:46
    And it turns out there is a difference.
  • 00:41:48
    And as I looked up hard, it was more like this brick.
  • 00:41:53
    And this brick has, I would say, I mean,
  • 00:41:56
    I didn't measure it, but I would say
  • 00:41:58
    according to the definition of hard, it would be hard.
  • 00:42:02
    It is hard.
  • 00:42:04
    Like if I, if I drop it,
  • 00:42:07
    if I dropped it from two more stories,
  • 00:42:09
    it would, it would split on contact.
  • 00:42:11
    One blunt force it would break because it's hard.
  • 00:42:14
    And the harder something is, the more a force will break it.
  • 00:42:19
    On the other hand, this is a sponge.
  • 00:42:24
    This was the example when I looked this up,
  • 00:42:26
    this was the example of tough.
  • 00:42:29
    Interesting, right?
  • 00:42:30
    Totally different than the brick, not going to break.
  • 00:42:33
    I could be on the top of the building
  • 00:42:35
    and I could drop that thing and pick it back up again,
  • 00:42:38
    and it would be exactly the same.
  • 00:42:40
    It's got a softer surface,
  • 00:42:42
    but a tougher exterior to absorb impact.
  • 00:42:45
    I don't know how you could break this thing, right?
  • 00:42:47
    You could keep hitting it over and over and over again
  • 00:42:50
    and it will not break.
  • 00:42:53
    Whereas the brick, on the other hand, maybe in one fell swoop.
  • 00:42:58
    You know, it kind of reminded me of a moment in college.
  • 00:43:02
    I had this marketing class.
  • 00:43:03
    I was a marketing major in college.
  • 00:43:05
    I know it doesn't feel right now,
  • 00:43:06
    but I took an intro to marketing class in college
  • 00:43:10
    and the professor said, "Okay,
  • 00:43:12
    I want you to think of a product or a slogan that you remember
  • 00:43:16
    and introduce yourself to the class with that product.
  • 00:43:19
    Tell us what the slogan is, why it represents you."
  • 00:43:22
    So I thought about it,
  • 00:43:23
    we only had about 60 seconds to come up with something.
  • 00:43:25
    And so I stand up and I say,
  • 00:43:27
    "My name is Alli and I am a Dulcolax Laxative."
  • 00:43:34
    The slogan at the time was strong yet gentle,
  • 00:43:38
    like I was trying to put these two qualities together
  • 00:43:41
    somehow into some representation of what
  • 00:43:44
    I think I was trying to say is I'm tough, but I'm not hard,
  • 00:43:50
    and that was the best I could come up with.
  • 00:43:53
    I don't know, really I think I just get
  • 00:43:55
    a $500 cash bonus from Brian Tome
  • 00:43:57
    if I figure out a way to talk about poop.
  • 00:43:59
    So, the funny thing is,
  • 00:44:03
    you're not sure if I'm kidding, are you?
  • 00:44:05
    Right, you really want to know.
  • 00:44:07
    I'm not going to tell you that one.
  • 00:44:09
    No, but it's these qualities and we have to decide.
  • 00:44:12
    These have an inverse relationship.
  • 00:44:15
    You're going to have to decide
  • 00:44:16
    do you want to be hard or do you want to be tough
  • 00:44:21
    because they're inversely related and you can't be both.
  • 00:44:23
    And tonight we're going to talk about
  • 00:44:25
    four qualities of a life, of a faith, of a community
  • 00:44:29
    that's tough, that can take a hit and keep moving forward,
  • 00:44:33
    that actually can endure over a long period of time
  • 00:44:36
    and over a lot of force and impact.
  • 00:44:39
    That's what we want to be.
  • 00:44:40
    That's what I think arguably we have been up until this date.
  • 00:44:44
    But the alternative is this.
  • 00:44:47
    See if I can break this one more time. Shall we try?
  • 00:44:49
    The alternative -- She's like, "Yeah, do it."
  • 00:44:52
    Oh, man. That's all right.
  • 00:44:55
    Got to be a story higher or something.
  • 00:44:57
    The alternative is this.
  • 00:44:59
    The alternative is we live life brittle, hard,
  • 00:45:03
    and we just wait for the thing
  • 00:45:04
    that's going to come along and break us.
  • 00:45:09
    The first quality of a life that is spongy
  • 00:45:13
    is you have to be real. Real.
  • 00:45:18
    I've had people tell me they come to Crossroads
  • 00:45:20
    for this reason alone, that they have spent time
  • 00:45:23
    in other churches, or they gave up on church at one point,
  • 00:45:26
    or they were made to go to church
  • 00:45:27
    for a long period of time,
  • 00:45:28
    and it never felt real to them.
  • 00:45:32
    Over many, many years we have tried to be real,
  • 00:45:38
    tell real stories, be real people.
  • 00:45:41
    That's why we talk about our own lives,
  • 00:45:43
    our own mistakes, our own struggles,
  • 00:45:45
    our own sin, our own stories.
  • 00:45:46
    Because what are we doing if we're not doing that?
  • 00:45:49
    We can all just show up here and be real together.
  • 00:45:54
    When I first started teaching here,
  • 00:45:56
    which was quite a long time ago now,
  • 00:45:58
    but I only used to teach about once a year.
  • 00:46:00
    And y'all were very used to men and very used to Brian.
  • 00:46:03
    And so we would have these internal conversations
  • 00:46:06
    about my voice and how it was really different than Brian.
  • 00:46:09
    And, you know, is that okay or not o
  • 00:46:12
    kay. And I got really frustrated in a meeting years ago
  • 00:46:15
    and I said, "Hey, hey, people don't like Brian
  • 00:46:19
    because of his motorcycle and his fart jokes.
  • 00:46:23
    People like him because that's real for him.
  • 00:46:27
    He actually likes those things.
  • 00:46:30
    The magic is the real.
  • 00:46:32
    It's not the motorcycle, it's the real.
  • 00:46:34
    And so we just need to give anybody with a microphone
  • 00:46:37
    the opportunity to be themselves, to be equally real,
  • 00:46:42
    because that's what people respond to."
  • 00:46:44
    And interestingly, that's what endures.
  • 00:46:47
    Nobody goes to bat for very long for a fake, right?
  • 00:46:51
    Nobody. Nobody wants that.
  • 00:46:54
    The Bible actually likens a life of faith
  • 00:46:57
    to enduring a long distance race.
  • 00:47:00
    I used to run marathons, and so I think
  • 00:47:01
    that's actually a great analogy for a life of faith,
  • 00:47:04
    because a marathon is a journey in and of itself.
  • 00:47:06
    And my worst marathon I ever ran was bad because it was fake.
  • 00:47:13
    I tried to get into the New York City Marathon by lottery.
  • 00:47:16
    My brother lived there and I really wanted to go run it
  • 00:47:18
    and I didn't get in.
  • 00:47:20
    But I had a friend whose company
  • 00:47:22
    actually sponsored the New York City Marathon,
  • 00:47:24
    and she had some corporate entries,
  • 00:47:26
    so she gifted me a corporate entry from her team
  • 00:47:29
    because they had some that they could give away.
  • 00:47:31
    So she gives me this corporate entry and I'm like,
  • 00:47:33
    "Score, I'm in."
  • 00:47:34
    So I booked my flight, I train, I go to New York
  • 00:47:37
    and I couldn't find on the morning of the race
  • 00:47:40
    I had the bib with my number on it,
  • 00:47:42
    but I couldn't find where I was supposed to start.
  • 00:47:44
    There was like tens of thousands of people in big fields.
  • 00:47:47
    You have to start by bullpen according to your number,
  • 00:47:50
    which is according to your rough finish time and all that.
  • 00:47:53
    And so I'm asking people,
  • 00:47:54
    I got this weird number, it's got some letters.
  • 00:47:56
    I'm sure it's got to do with this corporate entry I got.
  • 00:47:59
    And they keep waving me over.
  • 00:48:01
    Go over there, go over there. It's way over there.
  • 00:48:03
    So I finally get way over there and it's actually a big tent.
  • 00:48:06
    And the tent was interesting.
  • 00:48:09
    So I walk in and I'm like, "Oh, this is nice, you know?"
  • 00:48:12
    So I go in and there's food, there's water,
  • 00:48:16
    there's bathrooms that aren't porta potties.
  • 00:48:19
    There's like gels for, you know,
  • 00:48:21
    quick carbohydrates before the race, it was awesome.
  • 00:48:25
    And then I look around to see who else is in this tent.
  • 00:48:31
    I can tell you it's not corporate people.
  • 00:48:34
    It was the people who are actually
  • 00:48:36
    going to win the New York Marathon.
  • 00:48:39
    I was standing in the tent and they had put me
  • 00:48:42
    because of my entry in this tent with all the,
  • 00:48:44
    like, top runners in the world.
  • 00:48:47
    And so I'm standing in this tent going like,
  • 00:48:50
    "Oh my, oh, this is not going to go well for me, you know?"
  • 00:48:54
    So we get, you guys, I'm not kidding.
  • 00:48:56
    We get a police escort to the front of the Verrazano Bridge.
  • 00:49:00
    Planes going over, National Anthem.
  • 00:49:03
    I'm on the start line of the New York City Marathon.
  • 00:49:09
    Me? Nobody in front of me.
  • 00:49:11
    I'm on the start line with, like,
  • 00:49:13
    ten other women who are about to win the race.
  • 00:49:17
    And I was like, "Oh, be careful.
  • 00:49:20
    These are not your people.
  • 00:49:22
    This is not your race.
  • 00:49:24
    This could go very, very badly, you know?"
  • 00:49:27
    But it's really I mean, what are you going to do?
  • 00:49:29
    They're taking off at like five minutes a mile
  • 00:49:33
    and they're going to run that for the whole race.
  • 00:49:35
    And so, you all, it was not good.
  • 00:49:38
    It was real, real, real bad.
  • 00:49:41
    So I finished about 25 minutes behind the time
  • 00:49:44
    that even I projected myself to finish at.
  • 00:49:47
    It was the worst race I've ever run,
  • 00:49:49
    and it was because it was fake.
  • 00:49:51
    It wasn't mine. It wasn't my people.
  • 00:49:55
    It wasn't my course. It wasn't where I should have started.
  • 00:49:58
    It wasn't the encouragers I needed.
  • 00:50:00
    It wasn't the partners I needed.
  • 00:50:02
    Nothing about it was my race.
  • 00:50:04
    Listen to what Hebrews 12:1 says:
  • 00:50:20
    If our faith as a community,
  • 00:50:22
    if your faith as an individual,
  • 00:50:25
    if you have a race to run, a long distance race to run,
  • 00:50:29
    you need to be on your course with your people,
  • 00:50:34
    even if the other ones have bathrooms and food.
  • 00:50:38
    Because if you're on the wrong course,
  • 00:50:40
    everything about it is off.
  • 00:50:42
    And some of us don't really like the one we're on.
  • 00:50:45
    We want different gifts.
  • 00:50:46
    We wish we had different skills.
  • 00:50:47
    We really wish we had a different family.
  • 00:50:50
    Maybe some of us wish we had a different partner.
  • 00:50:52
    We spend all of our time looking at the other races,
  • 00:50:57
    the other courses, the other runners,
  • 00:50:59
    forgetting that the endurance that Jesus gives
  • 00:51:02
    is for our race.
  • 00:51:03
    It's when we fix our eyes on Him on our course,
  • 00:51:07
    where He shows up as the pioneer,
  • 00:51:09
    the one who's been where you're going,
  • 00:51:11
    and the perfecter, the one that knows how to get you there,
  • 00:51:14
    even making you better along the way.
  • 00:51:16
    But it only happens on your course.
  • 00:51:19
    He has supernatural endurance for you,
  • 00:51:21
    but He doesn't have it when you're running
  • 00:51:23
    the race of somebody else.
  • 00:51:25
    And that's exactly how I think of our community as well.
  • 00:51:28
    Crossroads has a very specific kind of race,
  • 00:51:32
    and it's not like every other church.
  • 00:51:35
    I'll bet most of you know that by now,
  • 00:51:38
    the race that God has us running,
  • 00:51:40
    it feels a little bit different.
  • 00:51:41
    It doesn't fit in a lot of places, but it's our race.
  • 00:51:46
    It's the one where we get supernatural endurance
  • 00:51:49
    from Jesus, who's been exactly where He wants us to go
  • 00:51:53
    and knows exactly how He wants us to get there.
  • 00:51:57
    And I got to tell you, I have no patience,
  • 00:52:00
    like, zero patience for running a fake race as a community.
  • 00:52:06
    To me, that starts to look like religion,
  • 00:52:08
    like we're just playing church.
  • 00:52:10
    I can't stand it, I can't stand it.
  • 00:52:13
    And I don't want empty do gooding.
  • 00:52:16
    I don't want religious gesturing.
  • 00:52:18
    I don't want any of that because nobody lasts in a fake race.
  • 00:52:24
    It ends up feeling like a brick.
  • 00:52:26
    And I got to tell you, you break one thing,
  • 00:52:29
    you know, that hard exterior, all the religious things
  • 00:52:32
    you're supposed to be doing in church,
  • 00:52:34
    you miss one and it's broken and you're done.
  • 00:52:39
    But if your community is real,
  • 00:52:42
    if you're running your race, you're spongy,
  • 00:52:47
    you last because you can mess up and you can come
  • 00:52:51
    and you can be real together, you can have real faith.
  • 00:52:54
    This is the life that Jesus offers us.
  • 00:52:57
    He offers us the grace to be imperfect,
  • 00:53:00
    to be able to show up and be real together,
  • 00:53:03
    not to put on the jacket of another community
  • 00:53:08
    or of what we're supposed to be doing,
  • 00:53:10
    or of what religion says we're supposed to be like.
  • 00:53:13
    We get to show up together
  • 00:53:15
    and we get to have a real encounter with Jesus.
  • 00:53:17
    That's what we've done tonight.
  • 00:53:21
    And that's that's the beauty of being in a space
  • 00:53:24
    where you get to show up and be exactly who you are,
  • 00:53:26
    and you're invited into your race,
  • 00:53:29
    your long distance race with Jesus
  • 00:53:31
    from exactly where you are right now,
  • 00:53:35
    whatever that looks like, as long as it's real.
  • 00:53:40
    The second thing, you have to be, not only real
  • 00:53:43
    if you want to a life of endurance,
  • 00:53:46
    you have to be rooted.
  • 00:53:47
    Not just real, but you have to be rooted
  • 00:53:50
    in something beyond yourself.
  • 00:53:52
    Galatians 5 actually says that endurance
  • 00:53:55
    and some other things related to endurance is a fruit.
  • 00:53:59
    And if it's a fruit, that means it's growing off of something,
  • 00:54:02
    it's rooted into something.
  • 00:54:03
    It's getting nourishment from the core.
  • 00:54:06
    When I was in the gym with Jen,
  • 00:54:07
    she kept talking about the core being,
  • 00:54:10
    you know, engage your core.
  • 00:54:12
    And this is where the rootedness of our faith comes in.
  • 00:54:15
    There has to be something in the center
  • 00:54:17
    that's constantly nourishing us, that's holding us down,
  • 00:54:21
    that's giving us strength in the middle.
  • 00:54:24
    Here's what Galatians 5 says:
  • 00:54:36
    Forbearance, faithfulness, self-control.
  • 00:54:40
    These are all elements of the fruit of the Spirit
  • 00:54:43
    that are deeply connected to a life of endurance.
  • 00:54:46
    And this kind of thing, these kinds of fruits,
  • 00:54:49
    they actually grow in the lives of people
  • 00:54:52
    who are rooted and connected to the Spirit.
  • 00:54:54
    When you come to faith in Jesus,
  • 00:54:56
    you get connected to the Spirit, in a way
  • 00:55:00
    the Holy Spirit comes to live in you and to dwell in you.
  • 00:55:03
    But that actually doesn't mean you have deep roots.
  • 00:55:06
    You have to decide, "I'm going to develop
  • 00:55:09
    and grow and strengthen and deepen my roots."
  • 00:55:13
    Listen to what Jesus says about unrooted believers:
  • 00:55:35
    Jesus was talking about not people
  • 00:55:37
    that don't believe His Word,
  • 00:55:40
    not people that don't receive Him.
  • 00:55:41
    He's talking about people that don't have roots.
  • 00:55:46
    You know, our world of social media tells us that
  • 00:55:52
    we can grow in like 90 curated seconds
  • 00:55:54
    of Christian influencers on Instagram or something.
  • 00:55:59
    There's two ways that you develop roots, there's two ways.
  • 00:56:03
    You'll never outgrow these. They'll never change.
  • 00:56:06
    They go for me, you, every other believer,
  • 00:56:08
    from the first one to the very last one.
  • 00:56:11
    And they're really simple.
  • 00:56:12
    You need the Bible and you need the body.
  • 00:56:15
    You need the Bible. You need the very words of God.
  • 00:56:19
    And the Spirit is alive in that space
  • 00:56:21
    in a way that you can't experience any other place.
  • 00:56:24
    You don't know the strength that is being put into you
  • 00:56:27
    as you read the Word of God.
  • 00:56:29
    And you need the body.
  • 00:56:31
    You need to connect yourself to a body of believers,
  • 00:56:35
    a community because the Spirit of God
  • 00:56:41
    also resides in a community of His people
  • 00:56:44
    in a way that you can never have by yourself.
  • 00:56:48
    Both of these areas the Bible and the people of God,
  • 00:56:52
    the body of Christ, they house the very Spirit
  • 00:56:55
    and Word of God in ways that you can't access alone.
  • 00:56:58
    And so these are the things that you need
  • 00:57:01
    deeply, deeply rooted in your life
  • 00:57:04
    from now until forever, until forever.
  • 00:57:07
    And the roots just keep getting deeper and deeper and deeper.
  • 00:57:11
    Isaiah 48 says this:
  • 00:57:23
    The Word of God is the only thing that will ever
  • 00:57:25
    root you to the center, to strengthen you,
  • 00:57:28
    nourish you, build you from the core
  • 00:57:30
    so that when that hit comes you don't fall away,
  • 00:57:34
    when the sun gets hot you don't get scorched,
  • 00:57:37
    when you take a hit you can actually stand.
  • 00:57:40
    You can't stand long
  • 00:57:42
    unless you're rooted to the Word of God.
  • 00:57:44
    And it's not to do with how you first believed.
  • 00:57:46
    It's got to do with how you live every single day
  • 00:57:50
    after that, either deepening roots or not.
  • 00:57:55
    I saw a glimpse of it.
  • 00:57:56
    It's really hard to quantify what's happening,
  • 00:58:00
    you know, when you connect, when you pull yourself out of bed.
  • 00:58:03
    I do it too, I pull myself out of bed
  • 00:58:05
    and I'm like, "Okay, let's go to church." You know?
  • 00:58:09
    I work here. This is what I do.
  • 00:58:10
    And I still do that on Sunday morning sometime, too.
  • 00:58:14
    I know, but when we do that, when we show up in community
  • 00:58:16
    and when we get into our Bible, when we open the Word of God,
  • 00:58:19
    and we just keep doing that, enduring in that day
  • 00:58:22
    after day after day after day,
  • 00:58:24
    something starts to happen in our life
  • 00:58:26
    that's really hard to quantify.
  • 00:58:28
    But I saw a little glimpse of a piece
  • 00:58:30
    of what enduring in community really looks like,
  • 00:58:33
    or what it's looked like here for me.
  • 00:58:34
    And it looks like these women in this picture.
  • 00:58:38
    You may have caught in the video that Kyle mentioned
  • 00:58:41
    I was Lena Schuler's small group leader
  • 00:58:43
    when she was a 7th grader.
  • 00:58:46
    If you don't know, that's Brian Tome's daughter,
  • 00:58:48
    our senior pastor, Lena is his daughter.
  • 00:58:51
    And I was assigned that small group having no idea.
  • 00:58:55
    I did not know that Lena was his daughter.
  • 00:58:58
    I was very new in the church
  • 00:58:59
    and I was just volunteering, trying to do something.
  • 00:59:02
    I get assigned to this small group of girls.
  • 00:59:04
    The other young woman in that picture
  • 00:59:06
    was also in that small group of girls.
  • 00:59:09
    And so I get -- I have a corporate job at the time,
  • 00:59:12
    and I'm volunteering in middle school ministry.
  • 00:59:15
    And I had no idea that fast forward many years later,
  • 00:59:18
    that I would get the privilege of actually
  • 00:59:20
    marrying Lena to her husband,
  • 00:59:23
    visiting her in the hospital when her first baby was born.
  • 00:59:26
    I now work for her father, Lord --
  • 00:59:30
    God knows what he's doing.
  • 00:59:32
    He knows exactly how to connect you
  • 00:59:35
    to all the right places in community.
  • 00:59:36
    I wish I could tell you the stories
  • 00:59:38
    about Brooke's dad and my husband being in
  • 00:59:41
    the first small group of men together
  • 00:59:44
    that went through some crazy stuff,
  • 00:59:46
    and my daughter, who was in that picture,
  • 00:59:48
    has a baby blanket from Brooke's parents
  • 00:59:50
    that's still under her pillow on her bed.
  • 00:59:54
    None of us set out to do any of that,
  • 00:59:58
    but over a long period of time
  • 01:00:01
    of just staying in the same community,
  • 01:00:03
    of rooting yourselves to the relationships
  • 01:00:06
    that God puts in your life, this is what happens.
  • 01:00:09
    And because he knows what He's doing,
  • 01:00:11
    and He knows what he wants to give you,
  • 01:00:13
    and He knows how he wants your life to go.
  • 01:00:15
    And too often we just cut Him off at the knees
  • 01:00:18
    because we get annoyed at something,
  • 01:00:20
    or somebody hurts our feelings,
  • 01:00:21
    or we don't like something that was said.
  • 01:00:23
    And we just go, "I'm out, I'm out."
  • 01:00:26
    But what -- what if you stayed?
  • 01:00:29
    What if you stayed?
  • 01:00:31
    What if you stayed in your job?
  • 01:00:32
    What if you stayed in your marriage?
  • 01:00:34
    What if you stayed in this community for long enough
  • 01:00:36
    to see what will God do if I stay?
  • 01:00:44
    Endurance is a fruit that grows out of
  • 01:00:46
    the life of rooted people who stay rooted to the Word of God
  • 01:00:51
    and the context of the body and the context of the Bible.
  • 01:00:56
    The third thing, third thing you need to, you know,
  • 01:01:00
    if you want a life that that's spongy, you want to be --
  • 01:01:02
    We want to be a community that endures.
  • 01:01:05
    You got to take risks.
  • 01:01:07
    And I know this one doesn't kind of sound immediately
  • 01:01:10
    like it's related to endurance,
  • 01:01:14
    but I hope to convince you otherwise.
  • 01:01:16
    I've seen Crossroads, this is like a hallmark of Crossroads.
  • 01:01:19
    I've seen Crossroads take all kinds of risks,
  • 01:01:22
    and it's interesting because
  • 01:01:24
    they have a very specific flavor.
  • 01:01:26
    The kind of risks that I'm talking about
  • 01:01:29
    are not like a bet it all on black kind of risk,
  • 01:01:31
    you know, not that kind of risk.
  • 01:01:33
    There are very specific flavor.
  • 01:01:34
    We've done things like built a stable for horses
  • 01:01:41
    on the stage and brought wild horses to every single service.
  • 01:01:45
    Have any of you been here for those?
  • 01:01:47
    Yeah, that was a huge risk, a huge risk.
  • 01:01:50
    We've done things like build CityLink Center
  • 01:01:54
    in the city of Cincinnati, audacious enough to believe
  • 01:01:58
    that we could actually make an impact in generational poverty.
  • 01:02:01
    That was a huge risk.
  • 01:02:04
    I was actually on staff the first time I worked here
  • 01:02:07
    where we did -- the decision got made
  • 01:02:09
    that we were going to go from one location
  • 01:02:11
    to multiple locations.
  • 01:02:13
    And I got to tell you, that was a huge risk.
  • 01:02:19
    And even what we heard tonight.
  • 01:02:22
    I've watched our community do this
  • 01:02:24
    over and over and over again.
  • 01:02:25
    When there's hurting people in another part of the world,
  • 01:02:30
    we suddenly redirect a significant portion
  • 01:02:33
    of a ministry budget so that we can help
  • 01:02:35
    in an emergent, sudden situation. That's a risk.
  • 01:02:39
    There were things that were going to be done
  • 01:02:42
    with the money that we had. Right?
  • 01:02:43
    So you know what that's like
  • 01:02:44
    when that happens in your life, but it's a risk.
  • 01:02:46
    And all these risks, the risks to be obedient
  • 01:02:51
    to where we think Jesus is leading.
  • 01:02:54
    It's not a crazy whim.
  • 01:02:56
    It's not a random idea kind of risk.
  • 01:02:59
    It's a risk to actually follow where we think God is leading.
  • 01:03:02
    Like, one where you would stand there in front of God
  • 01:03:05
    and you would say something like, "Okay, God,
  • 01:03:08
    I think this aligns with Your Word
  • 01:03:10
    to the best of my ability to understand You,
  • 01:03:12
    I'm pretty sure we should move in that direction."
  • 01:03:18
    And then we do it.
  • 01:03:20
    That is a hallmark of this community.
  • 01:03:22
    It's a hallmark of people who like this community.
  • 01:03:25
    It's a hallmark of of people that want to stay
  • 01:03:27
    around this community, because those kinds of risks,
  • 01:03:31
    they actually do something.
  • 01:03:32
    They do something in our heart, in our mind,
  • 01:03:34
    in our life, in our faith.
  • 01:03:35
    I want you to hear a story Jesus told
  • 01:03:38
    kind of explaining why that's connected
  • 01:03:41
    to a life that endures.
  • 01:03:44
    Jesus told this story at the end of a big sermon He gave.
  • 01:03:47
    This was like his conclusion to the sermon, and He says:
  • 01:04:33
    The guy who stayed standing was the one
  • 01:04:36
    who came to Jesus, heard His Word, and then actually did it,
  • 01:04:41
    actually moved to be obedient to the words of Jesus.
  • 01:04:45
    He said, "Why do you call me Lord
  • 01:04:46
    and not actually do what I say,
  • 01:04:48
    not actually build a life based on My words?"
  • 01:04:53
    And to the outside person watching you do that,
  • 01:04:58
    it will always look like a risk.
  • 01:05:00
    It will always look like a risk.
  • 01:05:02
    Even if you take at face value
  • 01:05:04
    the two guys building the houses.
  • 01:05:05
    What did the one do? It said he dug down deep
  • 01:05:08
    and he laid the foundation on rock.
  • 01:05:13
    I could see like six risks in that, right?
  • 01:05:15
    He's risking first the extra time
  • 01:05:19
    that it would take to build that way.
  • 01:05:21
    Guy over here,
  • 01:05:23
    he's got his house done a little quicker than you.
  • 01:05:26
    What about the money that it would have cost him
  • 01:05:30
    to lay the extra foundation?
  • 01:05:34
    Or the reputation of him as a good builder or a good steward?
  • 01:05:41
    You know, there's this other guy over here
  • 01:05:43
    who's building faster than you.
  • 01:05:44
    He's doing it better than you.
  • 01:05:46
    He's doing it less expensive than you.
  • 01:05:50
    Whenever we follow Jesus into a life of obedience,
  • 01:05:53
    it always looks like risk to other people.
  • 01:05:55
    Maybe you risk your reputation.
  • 01:05:57
    Maybe you risk your money.
  • 01:05:59
    Maybe you spend more time doing something.
  • 01:06:01
    Maybe it looks like you just took a big left turn
  • 01:06:04
    and you forfeit something that other people were after.
  • 01:06:08
    I got that a lot when I left the corporate world
  • 01:06:10
    I left a career that was that was doing just fine,
  • 01:06:14
    and I actually lost a friend who could not understand,
  • 01:06:17
    "Why would you do this? I don't understand you.
  • 01:06:21
    Why are you walking away from this?
  • 01:06:23
    Why are you taking this risk?"
  • 01:06:24
    For me that was a risk of obedience
  • 01:06:27
    and to her it just looked like I was giving up money
  • 01:06:30
    and progress in a career that I had worked to build.
  • 01:06:33
    It looked like a risk that
  • 01:06:34
    she couldn't understand why I would take.
  • 01:06:37
    Whenever you try to build your life on Jesus and His Word,
  • 01:06:40
    it will always look like a risk.
  • 01:06:42
    And that's why I say taking those risks to be obedient,
  • 01:06:46
    that kind of risk
  • 01:06:47
    is always connected to someone who endures.
  • 01:06:50
    Because that guy, maybe you had a question about him
  • 01:06:55
    until the flood came, right?
  • 01:06:56
    When the flood comes, it becomes very, very obvious.
  • 01:07:00
    When you take a hit, it becomes really obvious
  • 01:07:04
    why you don't want to be the brick.
  • 01:07:06
    When the flood comes and your life takes a hit
  • 01:07:09
    and you built it well, that's what it says,
  • 01:07:12
    his house was well built, and you can take it
  • 01:07:16
    and you can keep on moving.
  • 01:07:21
    This is really personal for me, this idea,
  • 01:07:23
    because when I look back at the 25, 30 years
  • 01:07:27
    just passed in my life, I would say
  • 01:07:31
    I built my world both ways.
  • 01:07:34
    I built it like the guy without the foundation.
  • 01:07:36
    And then it crashed. And then I tried to start over,
  • 01:07:39
    and I tried to build it on the words of Jesus.
  • 01:07:42
    And it was longer and slower and in many ways more painful.
  • 01:07:45
    But my life has taken hits that I've been able
  • 01:07:48
    to keep standing in, and it's so important to me,
  • 01:07:51
    like, so deeply who I am and what my life bears out,
  • 01:07:56
    this idea of building something that can stay standing.
  • 01:08:00
    That's exactly why I wrote the book that I wrote.
  • 01:08:02
    It's actually called How to Stay Standing,
  • 01:08:05
    and the title was taken from that parable.
  • 01:08:09
    It's so personal to me because all I want,
  • 01:08:13
    all I want is to be able to say, "It really does work.
  • 01:08:17
    Like, when you risk following Jesus,
  • 01:08:19
    at the end of the day, you go, 'Oh, You're there.
  • 01:08:22
    You're real. You're right. You're for me. You're good.'"
  • 01:08:26
    And you'll never know unless you actually risk following.
  • 01:08:33
    And as I am very not surprised that Brian's book,
  • 01:08:37
    he has a new book coming out too.
  • 01:08:39
    It's a tactical guide, it's like a workbook for men
  • 01:08:41
    that goes with his Five Marks of a Man book.
  • 01:08:43
    He talked a little bit about that a week or two ago.
  • 01:08:46
    I am not at all surprised that we would both write
  • 01:08:49
    completely different books to completely different people
  • 01:08:52
    with one central heart,
  • 01:08:54
    which is move, do it, follow, risk, go.
  • 01:09:00
    Because what you're going to find is
  • 01:09:02
    not only does your life get well built,
  • 01:09:04
    but you meet a God who loves you
  • 01:09:06
    and who is for you more than anybody else you will ever know.
  • 01:09:09
    And so that's why we want to do,
  • 01:09:11
    we're offering book studies, both of us, same time,
  • 01:09:14
    starting in a couple of weeks of our books.
  • 01:09:16
    And it's because of our common heart,
  • 01:09:19
    because of the way our community is put together.
  • 01:09:22
    This is just in the people that endure here to take risks
  • 01:09:27
    to actually build a life on Christ.
  • 01:09:31
    And you could develop all three of these.
  • 01:09:34
    You could be real, you could be rooted, you could take risks,
  • 01:09:37
    and you could be doing that all day long.
  • 01:09:40
    And the fourth one, if it's not in place,
  • 01:09:43
    could negate all the others.
  • 01:09:46
    You have to be after something that's worth it.
  • 01:09:50
    You've got to have a reward that's worth it at the end.
  • 01:09:58
    If you don't, when you take a hit,
  • 01:10:03
    even if you can stand, you might go, "You know what?
  • 01:10:07
    I'm just tired of this. It's just not worth it anymore.
  • 01:10:11
    I'm tired of getting hit.
  • 01:10:12
    I might still be standing,
  • 01:10:14
    but I got a black eye every other day
  • 01:10:16
    and I'm sick of it, I'm done."
  • 01:10:18
    And so whatever's at the end of the road for you,
  • 01:10:20
    it has to actually be worth it,
  • 01:10:22
    there has to be a reward that is actually worth it.
  • 01:10:26
    So I went back and thought about this.
  • 01:10:28
    There was 11 people that gathered in a living room
  • 01:10:32
    not quite 30 years ago, and they sat down together
  • 01:10:34
    and they were like, "What if we started a church?"
  • 01:10:36
    And that church became Crossroads.
  • 01:10:38
    And I wondered what were those 11 people after?
  • 01:10:43
    And actually, we know because some of them have endured
  • 01:10:46
    and they are still here today, actually.
  • 01:10:49
    And the answer to that is they wanted their friends,
  • 01:10:52
    they wanted people, the people they loved,
  • 01:10:56
    the people that felt alienated from church,
  • 01:10:58
    that hadn't given up on God,
  • 01:11:00
    but didn't have a place that felt like they could go.
  • 01:11:02
    They felt like outsiders in religious communities.
  • 01:11:04
    They didn't know the lingo.
  • 01:11:06
    They didn't know how to do it right,
  • 01:11:07
    and they hadn't given up on God,
  • 01:11:09
    but they might have given up on church,
  • 01:11:12
    at least church done like it used to be done.
  • 01:11:15
    And that's what they were after.
  • 01:11:18
    They were after their friends, their neighbors,
  • 01:11:21
    their city, their coworkers.
  • 01:11:23
    And with that at the heart, I got to tell you,
  • 01:11:25
    that is still the heart of Crossroads.
  • 01:11:28
    That is still what this community is about today.
  • 01:11:30
    If you endure in this community,
  • 01:11:34
    that has to be what you're about.
  • 01:11:37
    I will tell you point blank,
  • 01:11:39
    if we were about something else, I would be gone.
  • 01:11:42
    I would be gone because there's been
  • 01:11:43
    plenty of hits along the way,
  • 01:11:45
    plenty of communal hits, plenty of personal hits.
  • 01:11:48
    If we weren't truly and deeply about people,
  • 01:11:52
    I would have gone by now
  • 01:11:54
    because I didn't sign up to build a megachurch.
  • 01:11:58
    I signed up to try to get the people I love
  • 01:12:01
    in my city, in my nation, in our world,
  • 01:12:04
    to meet a God who thinks that they were worth it.
  • 01:12:09
    And that's the heart of this community.
  • 01:12:12
    That's always been the heart of this community. Always.
  • 01:12:15
    And it's the only thing worth taking hits for.
  • 01:12:18
    I got to read you the rest of that passage in Hebrews,
  • 01:12:20
    because this is the same prize that Jesus was after:
  • 01:12:49
    The writer of Hebrews wants us to endure,
  • 01:12:53
    and he offers up Jesus.
  • 01:12:55
    He says, Consider Jesus. Look what Jesus did.
  • 01:12:59
    And those little words buried right in the middle
  • 01:13:01
    of the passage tell you what he was after.
  • 01:13:03
    It says, "For the joy set before him."
  • 01:13:06
    What was the joy? What was the joy that was set before Jesus?
  • 01:13:09
    What in the world
  • 01:13:11
    would have been worth going to the cross for?
  • 01:13:14
    What would have been worth it?
  • 01:13:17
    What would have been worth the shame, the humiliation,
  • 01:13:20
    the judgment, the opposition, the hits,
  • 01:13:24
    the literal physical hits, in this case,
  • 01:13:27
    and the eventual unjust trial and His murder?
  • 01:13:31
    What would have been worth that?
  • 01:13:34
    What was the joy set before Him?
  • 01:13:38
    It was you. It was me. It was people.
  • 01:13:43
    There is nothing else that's worth that kind of hit,
  • 01:13:46
    but that is worth everything to Him.
  • 01:13:48
    That is worth everything to Him.
  • 01:13:50
    And He went to the cross with you in mind.
  • 01:13:53
    He went to the cross
  • 01:13:54
    knowing those hits were coming in advance.
  • 01:13:56
    He went to the cross knowing that you were going to come,
  • 01:13:59
    knowing you were going to be created.
  • 01:14:01
    And that's why this place exists,
  • 01:14:04
    because we want to be about what He wants.
  • 01:14:06
    We want to care about what He wants.
  • 01:14:09
    We want the prize at the end
  • 01:14:10
    after all the black eyes to be worth it.
  • 01:14:13
    And there's only one, and it's you. It's you.
  • 01:14:16
    That's what this community exists for.
  • 01:14:18
    If this is your first time here,
  • 01:14:22
    I hope there's somebody in the room tonight that
  • 01:14:24
    this is their first time here.
  • 01:14:25
    Because I want you to know we did this for you.
  • 01:14:29
    We did this for you.
  • 01:14:30
    And I'm so happy that you're here because
  • 01:14:33
    God knew you were going to be here.
  • 01:14:34
    If this is your second time, if this is your thousandth time,
  • 01:14:38
    everybody here, we -- we have done this
  • 01:14:42
    so that there's a place that we can be real,
  • 01:14:45
    that we can be rooted, that we can be in this thing together,
  • 01:14:48
    that we can pursue and be pursued by the God
  • 01:14:51
    who looked at you ahead of time
  • 01:14:54
    and came anyway for all the hits and said, "You're worth it.
  • 01:14:59
    You're worth it. He's worth it. She's worth it."
  • 01:15:02
    And I'll tell you what, you're also worth it to this community.
  • 01:15:05
    You're so valuable here that I will tell you
  • 01:15:08
    you are worth every dollar that was given for the app
  • 01:15:11
    you're watching on the website you're connecting through,
  • 01:15:14
    the seat you're sitting in.
  • 01:15:15
    You were worth the bad press, the picketing we've had.
  • 01:15:20
    You're worth the names people have been called,
  • 01:15:22
    all the personal criticism.
  • 01:15:24
    You are worth every trip around the world
  • 01:15:27
    where somebody went to meet you in a school
  • 01:15:30
    or in a prison or in another country.
  • 01:15:33
    You're worth every single bit of it and more.
  • 01:15:36
    You're worth the second mortgage
  • 01:15:38
    that most of those first 11 people gave on their homes
  • 01:15:41
    to make this place happen.
  • 01:15:43
    You were worth it then, and you're worth it now.
  • 01:15:46
    And you're worth it because Jesus says you're worth it.
  • 01:15:49
    That was the joy He went to the cross for, it was you.
  • 01:15:55
    So we endure because He endured.
  • 01:15:58
    And I hope that we're here long after
  • 01:16:01
    anybody in this room is still here, still taking hits,
  • 01:16:05
    still trying to tell people there's a God
  • 01:16:07
    who's crazy about you, who would come again,
  • 01:16:10
    who would take every hit again.
  • 01:16:11
    And He's dying for you to know
  • 01:16:13
    that you are worth that much, too.
  • 01:16:16
    You're worth it and that's why we exist.
  • 01:16:19
    That's why we want lives that can endure
  • 01:16:21
    because we care about what He cares about.
  • 01:16:24
    So, let me pray for you right now, because,
  • 01:16:28
    needless to say, I'm so glad you're here.
  • 01:16:32
    Lord, I just ask for Your blessing of grace
  • 01:16:36
    over this community who truly, in all our fumbling
  • 01:16:40
    and all our getting it wrong, truly, deeply
  • 01:16:43
    wants to be about what You care about,
  • 01:16:47
    the people, Your people.
  • 01:16:50
    And Lord, I pray for Your people all over the world tonight.
  • 01:16:54
    I ask that You would comfort, that You would encourage,
  • 01:16:58
    that You would strengthen, that You would lift up,
  • 01:17:00
    and that most especially You would tell them
  • 01:17:02
    You are here and that they were worth it.
  • 01:17:05
    And I pray that in the name of Jesus, Amen.
  • 01:17:10
    - We believe that the church is called to love God
  • 01:17:12
    and for us to love one another.
  • 01:17:14
    This is who we are.
  • 01:17:15
    And throughout this series we've looked at
  • 01:17:17
    how we as a church run, how we go, how we laugh,
  • 01:17:20
    how we challenge, how we sacrifice, and how we endure.
  • 01:17:24
    Over our 27 year history, we've been doing these things
  • 01:17:27
    and we're not done yet.
  • 01:17:30
    The series is called This Is Us, but the point
  • 01:17:32
    isn't to talk about ourselves at all.
  • 01:17:34
    The point is to invite you along into
  • 01:17:37
    a community of people running after God,
  • 01:17:39
    and to join us on the journey.
  • 01:17:41
    Now, if any of the last six weeks have resonated with you
  • 01:17:45
    and spoken to you and like, man,
  • 01:17:47
    that's not just something I want to watch.
  • 01:17:48
    That's something I want to be a part of.
  • 01:17:50
    Hey, I've got a really simple next step for you.
  • 01:17:52
    I just want you to email me. Email me really.
  • 01:17:54
    My personal email Andy.Reider@crossroads.net.
  • 01:17:58
    I'd just love to have a conversation with you
  • 01:18:00
    about how we can connect you with a community
  • 01:18:03
    of people all over the world running after Jesus,
  • 01:18:05
    and how your journey with God can have
  • 01:18:08
    intentional next steps that keep you growing
  • 01:18:10
    and keep you moving forward.
  • 01:18:12
    Send me an email. I'd love to connect with you.
  • 01:18:15
    Now make sure you don't miss next week
  • 01:18:18
    as we kick off one of the series I'm most excited about:
  • 01:18:20
    Real Encounters with God season four.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend-Follow Up! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. What is something impactful you’ve endured, or are still enduring?

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. Do you see the value of endurance? Why or why not?

  4. Where have you seen the difference between hardness and toughness in your life?

  5. What’s something unique to you or your life experience that makes taking the hits life throws at you challenging to absorb?

  6. Out of the four qualities of being tough (Being real, Being rooted, Being a risk-taker, Being after a specific reward), which do you see the most of in yourself? Which do you see the least of? Why?

  7. Read James 1:2-4. Name an area of your life where you see a need for endurance. What would it mean for you to embrace that challenge?

  8. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for showing us what real endurance looks like. Give us the courage to choose toughness over comfort. To reject the false safety of comfort. Help us rely on your strength for our protection. We’re fixing our eyes on you. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • Describe a time where you chose to be hard and brittle in the face of a challenging situation. What were the effects and/or results of that choice?
  • How would your life look different if you chose to pursue toughness over hardness?

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Got it! Enjoy your discussion.


Oct 15, 2023

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