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Archive for October, 2011

3 Weeks Left for “Share the Good News” Special

There are only 3 weeks left for the Share the Good News of Christmas special, so make sure you get your orders in soon!

Normally $50 each, we’re offering each kit for an early-bird rate of $30 per kit on orders before November 1. That’s a 40% discount, so act soon to take advantage of a great deal.

Share the Good News of Christmas is a tool for churches to distribute New Testaments and invite their communities to their Christmas celebration. Each kit contains enough materials for 50 door-hanger bags which include a gospel tract, an ESV New Testament, and a customizable invitation.

We’re praying thousands of people will be impacted with the gospel through the program.

Here’s what a few Christian leaders have said about the program:

“Christmas presents believers with an unprecedented opportunity to bless those around us. I am so pleased that Crossway is offering Share the Good News of Christmas in such a way that we can make the Bible accessible to everyone in our community. We must not miss the opportunity to give our friends and neighbors what is truly priceless.” –R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Share the Good News of Christmas is an excellent tool for getting the gospel and the New Testament into homes in your community. Let your people pray. Challenge them to live in provocatively gospel ways in their community, then let them give the good news to friends and neighbors.”–Matthew Campbell, Missions and Ministries PastorColonial Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, VA

We hope you’ll consider joining us to share the good news of Christmas this year. Again, there are only 3 weeks left with the special pricing, so order soon.

Download a PDF of the gospel tract.

October 13, 2011 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 9:52 am | 0 Comments »

Caring for a Loved One with Cancer: Don’t Forget About the Kids

Most of us know someone who has or is currently battling cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, over 1.5 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2010 alone. June Hunt has written a book that gives readers practical tips for providing emotional, spiritual, and physical support to loved ones facing this disease. We’ll be sharing some of June’s tips from Caring for a Loved One with Cancer throughout breast cancer awareness month. Stay tuned!

Don’t Forget About the Kids:

When a mom or dad has a life-threatening illness, often the stress is so great and the grief so deep that children get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps the greatest gift you can give to a parent struggling with a serious illness is choosing to focus on the children: learn their likes and dislikes, notice their needs, and help them face their fears. Consider these possible suggestions:

  • When visiting your friend, be a friend to the children. Spend time talking with each child, if possible, one on one. Begin with general questions such as, “What do you like most about school?” “Who is your favorite teacher and why?” “How is this year different from last year?”
  • Bring a batch of home-baked cookies for them to put in their lunch boxes or enough for them to share with their friends. Better yet, give the goodies to their mother to give to the children. This helps Mom still feel like a mom!
  • Be aware of Christmas and birthday gifts. Ask your friend, “Would you like for me to buy something special for you to give to Jimmy?” If so, buy the gift wrap as well, but let your friend see the gift before it’s wrapped.
  • Purchase humorous cards, posters, or gifts for your loved one to give. Although this is a heavy time, these fun items allow the sick one to introduce some much-needed levity. Remember, children love to laugh.
  • Carry a camera when you visit. Take pictures of the children, both by themselves as well as with their parents. Put exceptional pictures in a frame. Even though most of the attention is on the one who is ill, this special attention lets the kids know that they are still important.
  • Volunteer for needed transportation for a child’s field trip or a birthday party. Be sure to inquire ahead of time about what the child is to bring.
  • After treatments have become routine, offer to take the children to observe a chemo treatment for a little while. Doing so may take away the mystique and answer many questions they may have about this part of the therapy. It would also allow them to be a part of the process with their family member.
  • Take the children to buy school supplies or school clothes or a special outfit for no particular occasion. One grown daughter continues year after year to thank me for taking her (along with her brother and sisters) to buy clothes during a time when their mother was physically incapacitated. I’m still absolutely amazed at the long-term impact this one act of kindness has had through the years.

Amid the maze of emotions, children need to be assured that they aren’t suddenly less loved and that their welfare isn’t less important. A parent’s severe illness is a clear case of a family in crisis, and you can help the family by focusing on the children. Keeping a child’s routine of school, activities, and friends is very helpful.

Will these and other little acts of kindness make any real difference? Yes, beyond a shadow of doubt! The greatest treasures in God’s kingdom are built from the smallest acts of kindness toward His little ones. A truly unselfish gift is one that is given to those who cannot return the favor. And, in the eyes of the Lord, any act of kindness toward someone in need is an act of love toward Him. Jesus said, “‘I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me.’ . . . ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?’ . . . ‘Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matt. 25:35–40 NKJV).

Excerpt from Caring for a Loved One with Cancer by June Hunt. Read a sample chapter.

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Building the Foundation of Community

It is essential to lay a foundation for building a life-giving and life-sustaining community within your church. Illustrating the need for a solid foundation, Jesus said,

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matt 7:24-27)

Jesus calls us to dig deep into his Word and lay a solid foundation of faithfulness. We are called to hear his words, be changed by them, and to live out of the convictions brought by the Holy Spirit. He is telling us to build our lives on the foundation of faith and obedience in him, through the living Word of Scripture.

What an excellent foundation! Yet there are so many who build their foundations on sand rather than rock. When it comes to ministry, and community group ministries in particular, I see sloppy foundations. We can get so excited about a new innovative idea or opportunity to contextualize that we often skip this important step: build your foundation on the rock. Wind, rain, and floods will come in the form of sin, suffering, and tragedy. The question is, will your community have the conviction to be the church when the flood comes, when Jake confesses to an addiction to porn, when Jane loses hope, when Tom loses his job?

Have you asked yourself why you do community groups?

It seems silly, but how many of us have never even asked why we have community groups at our churches? Having small groups at your church because of tradition or because that is what “successful” churches do is not a particularly sturdy foundation. It is like having no foundation at all and makes it fairly difficult to inspire a commitment to community.

So, before you begin building (or remodeling), let me encourage you with this: be like the wise man. Ask why before you ask how. Build your foundation before you pick out the drapes. We are so often in a hurry to fix the lack of authentic community within the church that we start building without a foundation. Jesus tells us not to be fools who put all our effort into building a house, picking out just the right hardwoods to accent the light in the family room, when it will all be washed away in the first storm. We want to build our community groups so that they will stand up to the many storms that will come blowing through.

Modified from Community: Taking Your Small Group off Life Support by Brad House

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October 11, 2011 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Church Ministry,Community,Life / Doctrine | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:26 am | (2) Comments »

3 Part Interview with Justin Holcomb on FamilyLife Today

Listen in on this three part interview with Justin Holcomb on FamilyLife Today (based on his book Rid of My Disgrace: Help and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault along with Lindsay Holcomb)

  • You Are Not to Blame: Sexual abuse. Even the word makes us cringe. Justin Holcomb, a pastor in Seattle, talks frankly about the abuse and the self-blame that so many victims battle. Justin encourages abuse victims to bring their questions and their pain to God, who promises never to leave or forsake us.
  • Grace: The Gospel’s Answer to Disgrace: Does the sexual abuse you suffered make you feel like a disgrace? Pastor Holcomb explains how God turns our disgrace into grace. Justin defines what sexual abuse is, and tells parents some things to tell their daughters to lessen their chances of being sexually assaulted. Justin also tells what to do should sexual assault occur.
  • Be Angry, But Do Not Sin: Sexual abuse is at epidemic levels. Holcomb, who has counseled with hundreds of sexual abuse victims shares how the gospel brings a fresh identity to those who have suffered harm. Listen in to hear how God’s truth can minister to those experiencing shame and anger in their pain.

Learn more about Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault.

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October 10, 2011 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 2:11 pm | 1 Comment »

New Books from Crossway in October

We’re pleased to announce our new October releases:

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 10:29 am | 1 Comment »