Monday, October 25, 2010

Flame of Faith

Last weekend Cross Roads was blessed by a small group of youth from University UMC in Austin.  They piled out of the church van Friday night at about 9PM ready to fire up the bonfire and toast marsh mellows.  As the night deepened, attention waned and the flames ebbed to smoldering ash, they spread their blankets under a bright night sky and watched as clouds skittered rapidly across a full moon.  Ingrid, their pastor, said that as they watched the clouds zoom by they all experienced the very real feeling of being passengers riding on a twirling ball sailing through the universe.  This feeling, this realization of the immenseness of God's universe, was a humbling first for some of them.  

In the early dawn hours a few sleepy eyed boys poked the embers of the fire to life.   Throughout the day as time permitted, twigs, sticks and other small offerings were chunked into the hungry fire igniting random small bursts of flame. As the busy-ness, laughter and antics of the day melted into the evening, larger limbs and logs were added to the glowing coals and flames once again leapt high illuminating the way to the candlelit Labyrinth.

As I observed and visited with Ingrid about their stay here, it occurred to me that the ebb and flow of the weekend was a lot like life.  Sunday morning we pile into churches ready to light the fire - sing, praise, worship, fellowship and to hear into the humbling truths of the scriptures.  Then Monday dawns and the fire is faltering. Our attention wanes and forces mount to snuff our faith flame.  We struggle to maintain, and throughout the week we chunk in a prayer or two, an email devotional, and other small offerings,  just enough to keep the embers alive and spark some random small bursts of flame.  Our Spirits rise with the flaming sun on Sunday morning as we once again show up eager to sing, praise, worship, fellowship and to hear the humbling truths of the scriptures.

I am blessed to learn something from everyone who comes to the Cross Roads.  Last weekend spoke to me about paying closer attention to feeding the fire of my faith every day, every hour, every minute, lest it falter.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Morning After

Ed and Thresa Hull are amazingly gifted artisans.   Both hold down full time jobs, but their hobbies are where their hearts are.  Ed spends most of his spare time in his woodwork shop patiently shaping exotic wood into incredible multi-hued, multi-textured bird "mansions" and other pieces of wood art.  Thresa and Ed work together painstakingly piecing together brilliantly colored shards of stained glass on phenomenal  projects that take up another entire workshop. The quality of their work in both areas exceeds most professional artists.

A little over a year ago Thresa Hull attended a retreat here at Cross Roads.    At the end of the weekend, Thresa told me that the Holy Spirit had touched her deeply during her stay here and she wanted to give something back. I told her that wasn't necessary, but she asked if we had ever considered putting stained glass windows in the Chapel. "Of course!", I said, "It's on the list, but, not very high, 'cuz it's so expensive."    

Ed and Thresa went to work applying their incredible talent to designing, making and then donating exquisite stained glass windows for the Cross Roads Chapel. It took them an entire year.  Each window is half of a sunrise behind a cross.  When you look at the front of the Chapel you see three crosses - the two stained glass windows on either side with a sun rising behind them and the cross on top of the Chapel.   The windows are titled, "The Morning After".   This photo doesn't do them justice.  You'll see what I mean on your next visit to the Cross Roads.  

Created and Donated by Ed and Thresa Hull

Thank you Ed and Thresa - your gift will bless everyone who comes to the Cross Roads!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall was in the air!

What a great weekend at the Cross Roads! Fall was in the air. The sky was crystal clear and bright blue.  A  breeze rustled through the trees, but best of all  sounds of laughter intermingled with some rockin' praise and worship music burst through the open windows of the Conference Room.   The Holy Spirit was definitely movin' as the S.M.Y.R.T. team from St. Mary's in Bryan led a powerful retreat for youth from Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Rockne, TX!  We made some great new friend in Christ!