Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Journey to a New Land

The Rhodes family is leaving Cross Culture at the beginning of September to start a church in Boston, MA.

I didn’t want to bury the headline. Now, let me explain.

In March 2013 we moved to Raleigh in faith. Three months out we had committed to move, but I still didn’t have a job. I put out a lot of resum├ęs and received a few calls, but none of the churches were a fit. Then, I received a call from Pastor Clay. I was nervous because Cross Culture was the church I actually wanted to call me back! That call led to an interview. You guys brought us up, treated us like family, and the elders grilled me for what felt like 14 fun hours. A few weeks later Cross Culture called us to serve. God had provided.

In my original meeting with the elders I told them that God had called me to start a church. I didn’t know all the details, but I knew eventually that’s where God was leading. I had years left in school at Southeastern and I verbally committed to stay at Cross Culture for at least three years.

Three years later, wow, God has blessed. Cross Culture Church has been a wonderful experience. We’ve seen students come to know Christ, actually grow in their relationships with him, and the student ministry has grown. None of it would have been possible without the great membership of our church. No doubt, there have been a lot of struggles. Yet, I am left with an overwhelming love for Cross Culture. To borrow from Pastor Clay, I love being your student pastor, and I’ll miss you, the people of Cross Culture, the most. What an amazing and loving group God has gathered. Allie and I are constantly astonished at the love of Christ that shines through so many in our church. The decision to leave was not an easy one.

Even while loving my time at Cross Culture I had not forgotten about God’s call to start a church. About a year ago I began a journey that would lead me to a far away land of wonder... Boston. I walked and prayed through the streets, talked to some of the pastors there, and stayed in a really sketchy hotel. When I came back I told Allie, “I think this is it.” Over the next year I brought the family to Boston and then went back one more time... you know, just to be sure. And I couldn’t get the city out of my head. Just as God had given me the dream to start a church years earlier, he was now completing that dream with a location.

But life’s circumstances were telling us to stay at Cross Culture. We had a knew baby. God had given us a church and people we loved. We prayed and wept about staying... and I’m not much of a crier. Finally, one day I understood why my heart was in turmoil. The easy choice was Cross Culture, but the right choice was Boston. None of our circumstances surprised God. We needed to follow through with what God said years earlier. So, I emailed Pastor Clay a few months back, told him our plan, and met with the elders about how to move forward.

Here’s the plan: I will continue to minister at Cross Culture through August of this year. At that point our goal is to move on to the next step in this journey. Things are still not completely clear, and we are again stepping out in faith and trusting God. We desire your prayers more than anything else. This Sunday (Feb. 28, 2016) I’ll be preaching and talking a little more about what God is doing. I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Praise Him On Sunday. Kill Him On Friday.

When I preached a couple of weeks ago on experiencing the power of God I felt like something was missing. My main point was:

When We’ve Experienced God’s Power We Can’t Walk Away Unchanged.

That’s a fine point, but is it true?

The sermon centered on the triumphal entry. I proposed that the people who were waving palm branches and laying their cloaks on the ground were not people from Jerusalem, but rather from Galilee where Jesus’ ministry was centered. They were people who had experienced his power first hand. That was why they were so enthusiastic about his entry into Jerusalem.

Then someone posed a great question, “But Ivey, Weren’t these the same people who yelled to crucify him only a few days later? And if that’s the case, were they really changed by experiencing God’s power?”


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guys, I Planted the Wrong Tree

"...each tree is known by its own fruit." -Jesus from Luke 6:44

I was told this story:
A man and his family loved Golden Delicious Apples, and he owned some land. One day his wife asked him if he would plant some Golden Delicious Apple trees. The man was excited about the opportunity to own his own Golden Delicious trees. He went to a farmer and got some seeds for Golden Delicious trees. He planted those seeds and the trees grew.

About two years later the trees were starting to produce fruit. The man was proud, but his wife was a little concerned because she had gone out to the tree and noticed there was something wrong with the fruit. Upon further investigation she realized they weren't producing Golden Delicious apples... they were producing peaches.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Parents, I'll Make a Deal With You

Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

I love being a student pastor. I love being Cross Culture Church's student pastor. I work with a whole team that loves students. We get the opportunity to hangout and influence the next generation. How cool is that? We teach the Bible, make progress in student's walks with Christ, have fun, and encourage each other. But here is the thing, we have a very limited amount of time with your student.

Waking hours in a week: 119
    • Hours in school: 40
    • Hours in extra-curricular activities: 10
    • Waking Hours at home: 57
    • Hours texting/snap chatting a week: probably 8+
    • Hours in Church: 4

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Breaking Good: How "Breaking Bad" Taught Me Something About God

Allie and I have been watching Breaking Bad. If you don't know, it's about a brilliant high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who gets lung cancer. He doesn't have the money to pay for treatment so he turns to cooking meth (Seems really brilliant, sike). Everything goes absolutely crazy from there.

He finds pleasure in power and by season 6 he sees himself as king of kings. As you can see by the trailer above he has a bit of a god complex. Others in the show find pleasure in the meth he cooks. It's the purist around. Junkies crave it. He can't make enough of it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Was Saved at Three... Or Was I? (Should we Evangelize Children?)

I've been taking a class on evangelism and missions. Because of this I've been thinking about evangelism a lot and particularly how it relates to children. Child evangelism is a subject that is close to my heart, and I think it'll make more sense if I tell you my story, err, testimony.

I grew up in a super Christian home. My mom tells me about how I was in church the first Sunday after I was born. She played the piano and my dad led the youth and music. We went to church every Sunday. Since the day of my birth I could count the Sundays I have not been in church on two hands (That's less than 10). I was presented with the Gospel at a very early age.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My 3 Year Old Sons Was Meditating on Katy Perry

Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get upBind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

"'Baby you're a firework!' Daddy, are you a firework?" was asked by my son Quentin yesterday. I had to laugh and then try to explain to him that the "firework" was metaphorical... I lost him at meta. We're not big Katy Perry fans. No, let me say that another way, we're not Katy Parry fans at all. Yet somehow Quentin knows the firework song. He doesn't know who sings it, but he does know a lot of the lyrics and knows that it's off Madagascar 3.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

$2600 Dollars and All I Got Was This Rasta Banana

"Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings, $2600, on a carnival game. And all he has to show for it is this stuffed banana with dreadlocks." That is probably the greatest line to ever be said on a news cast. Ever!

When I watched this video the only thing that crossed my mind was that this guy is an idiot. I can totally understand spending $2600 on a carnival game, but he looks so stupid walking around town with that banana....... Ok I'm kidding. This guy is the definition of a fool. What kind of person doesn't KNOW carnival games are rigged. When you ride the sky line ride over the fair, look down at the basketball hoops. They are shaped like toilet seats, and I mean the long handicap type.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oops, I Never Really Explained What the "Sinner's Prayer" Is

I realized after last week's post about the Sinner's Prayer I never really explained what this Sinner's Prayer was. I assumed many people knew the Christianese term. I was wrong. So, I'm going to succinctly try to lay out the most widely understood idea of the Sinner's Prayer.

There is no exact way to present a Sinner's Prayer. It's not a specific scripture, and some would argue that it's not even a Biblical concept. I disagree with the idea that it's not a Biblical concept and talked about that last week's post. So what is it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ramen Noodles And Why The Sinner's Prayer Is Sending You To Hell

I love ramen noodles, but I'm not so much a fan of the broth. Usually I cook up my noodles and then dump most of the broth out into the drain. Inevitably I dump a few noodles out with the broth, but of course I don't dump out all the noodles with the broth. That wouldn't make sense.

Recently I've seen a backlash against the "Sinner's prayer." Through a little research I've found that this denouncement isn't new. It has been going about in certain circles for a long time. It wasn't until the passed year or so that I really started seeing tweets, status updates, and blogs calling it out. I'm probably behind the curve on this, but as always I write about what is currently on my heart.