Overflowing with fruit!!!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Mark 11:12-14
“Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit.” (Mark 11:13)
Jesus’ action seems harsh, since “it was not the season for figs.” (v.14)
Apparently fig trees in Israel do produce fruit out of their normal season.
A fig tree in leaf, even out of season, was promising.
Until you got up close, until you looked within its branches.
Was Jesus just ‘hangry’, or was more going on in this incident.
In context, Jesus was welcomed by the crowds to Jerusalem but angered by the temple-keepers.
In other words, appearances are deceiving; Jerusalem is not a home-coming for the messiah.
They’ve got the foliage but not the fruit; the love of God and people are not on their branches.
What Jesus does here makes more sense as a parable, an object lesson.
Similar parables are found in Isaiah 5, Jeremiah 24, Luke 13:6-9, John 15:1-8.
The repeated message is that God is very frustrated and angry when we do not show love.
When we are full of pride, greed, lust, selfishness, cruelty, hate, impatience, deception.
Our present life is our opportunity to choose what fruit we will grow.
And the day is coming when Jesus will say ‘enough, you’ve made your decision, be fruitless!’
That day is coming… but now is the day for repentance, to choose good fruit.
When Jesus sees me from a distance, He may see leaves…
But what will He see if He looks into my life, my branches, my heart?
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, my life is meant to be FILLED with kindness, compassion, generosity, etc. May this be my passion, may this be my addiction, may this be what I aim for more than anything else!

God shows up… through us!

Received this from someone today. A good reminder that God made us to be His representatives, His hands and feet. God is not doing nothing in the world today, He is working through those who are showing up, who are loving and serving and caring and sharing. And He is encouraging others – like you and me – to join in. Let’s make God visible today!

we often ask

Survey: Daily prayer and bible reading?

graphThis past Sunday I surveyed our congregation about their daily prayer and bible reading.
Forty people responded:
— 19 said YES/YES
— 16 said NO/YES
— 5 said NO/NO
These results are both encouraging, and an encouragement to find ways to help those who feel it is important but are not doing it yet.
As to why people do not think it is important, I would be curious to know their reasons.
But maybe I need to start by saying why I do think it is important.
Maybe you can help.
Tell me why you think daily prayer and bible reading are important.

Survey: What is a disciple?

This past Sunday I surveyed our congregation with this question: what is a disciple? The call of Jesus is to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). But if we do not know what a disciple is, how can we make them. If we as a church do not have the same idea of what a disciple is, how can we make them together? The answers below are a starting point, but we will need to unpack them some more if we are going to do a better job of making disciples. Continue reading ‘Survey: What is a disciple?’ »

Discussion: Am I already healed?

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
When speaking in Nazareth, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2, and then makes the remarkable claim, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
Jesus proclaims good news to the poor.
Jesus proclaims freedom from prison and oppression.
Jesus proclaims healing for the blind.
Jesus proclaims the time of God’s favour.
The good news now is: I am forgiven! I am free!
But does this mean that the good news now is also: I am healed!? Continue reading ‘Discussion: Am I already healed?’ »

Psalm 13 – Coming to life

Talia Biel is a member at Crossroads Church. She is a sincere Jesus follower with a gift for connecting her faith to real life, and for sharing that through her writing.  Check out her blog “Holding On To Faith.

NOTE: Talia is participating in our “Summer In The Psalms” bible reading initiative. This story shows how God speaks through scripture in amazing ways, not only to us but also through us!

 Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops—at all” – Emily Dickenson

6700dac87a06358055958f6d8108831dA friend had called me out of the blue to meet up for coffee early this morning. At first, I so quickly wanted to turn down the invitation. I haven’t been feeling well the last couple days (kids are germ machines) and could barely think straight enough, if yet, long enough to maintain a full on conversation. It was then I felt the spirit nudging me reminding me gently of the day to day opportunities to truly be His hands and feet, and I got this feeling that I needed to be there for someone, regardless of how crappy I myself felt. Continue reading ‘Psalm 13 – Coming to life’ »

The issue of gossiping

Talia Biel is a member at Crossroads Church. She is a sincere Jesus follower with a gift for connecting her faith to real life, and for sharing that through her writing.  Check out her blog “Holding On To Faith.

Igossip-hurts-500x281 had a friend recently ask me to write on the issue of “gossiping” and as a “Christian” on how to deal with it.  I am no pro but I think Christian or not, gossiping can be one of the most harmful and destructive issues that destroy relationships. It is an issue that arises in many social gatherings, churches, and in the workplace. Below is a list of ten things I have put together on how to deal with this issue and some steps to take to bring others up, not down. Continue reading ‘The issue of gossiping’ »

Butterfly fly away

Talia Biel is a member at Crossroads Church. She is a sincere Jesus follower with a gift for connecting her faith to real life, and for sharing that through her writing.  Check out her blog “Holding On To Faith.

Please note: I have parental permission to use this child’s name and photo for this particular post* 

11667878_10155699368755697_447215486_nA child can bring so much warmth and laughter to your soul if you let them. It all started when little miss Ava started my room at only 7 months old. On her first day, she looked away from her mother and entered the environment of which she would spend most of her days at. Carefully crawling to the toy shelf, the book centre, and to the Elmo riding toy (which is her favourite toy). Ava wanted to explore each and every area of the room. She occasionally looked back at her mother for a reassuring smile, and continued to explore. Continue reading ‘Butterfly fly away’ »

Disciple-making at the work

“We are discipling people every day in our work—as we treat a customer with respect, help out a coworker with his or tasks, respect the boss even when others grumble behind his back, seek justice in the way we do our business, make the workplace a more peaceful place to be, offer to go the extra mile to get the work done and done right, etc. How are you making disciples by the way you do your work?” (Alan Hirsch)